Change the world


Madibaz rugby coach Jarryd Buys wants his team to create a winning habit when they begin their Varsity Shield campaign at the Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Monday. The Nelson Mandela University team’s opening game is against Cape Peninsula University of Technology, heralding an intense start to the competition when they play three matches in eight days.

Final-year education students in Nelson Mandela Bay and Mthatha are learning how to use cutting-edge technology in real-life teaching situations.

Dr Savo Heleta of the Office for International Education will be honoured with an award for his article “Decolonisation of higher education: Dismantling epistemic violence and Eurocentrism in South Africa”, published in the journal Transformation in Higher Education (2016).

Nelson Mandela University welcomed more than 8000 first year students and their parents and guardians at the weekend, and is on track to welcome back all its students on Monday for the official start of the 2019 academic year.

Students at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) must work consistently, manage their finances, ask questions and lead a healthy lifestyle. This was part of the message from vice-chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa when she welcomed thousands of new students to the university on Saturday.

Madibaz cricketer Lutho Sipamla was “surprised and shocked” to get a call-up to the Proteas cricket team, but is determined to make the most of the opportunity. The 20-year-old fast bowler, who is in the second year of a business management degree, was named on Friday last week in the national squad for the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

In June 2017, one of the worst wildfires on record in the Knysna region of the Western Cape burned 15000 hectares – from Knysna to Sedgefield in the west, and to Plettenberg Bay in the east – destroying more than 800 buildings, 5000 hectares of forest plantations, and claiming the lives of seven people.


The Weekend Post recently published an article stipulating plans by property owners of the city to blacklist students who owe rentals from previous years and also to ban students who have damaged their property. I’ve decided to share some contents of my masters degree research in this article, to reveal the latest evidence from the student accommodation industry which the university, government, property owners and students need to grapple with for all of us to arrive at better and tangible decisions derived from criticality.

I am truly privileged to welcome you all as we start the 2019 academic year at Mandela University. To those who are returning, thank you for your contributions in 2018 and I sincerely hope that you enjoyed a good break and reconnected with family, friends and communities. To those joining us for the first time, welcome, namkelekile nonke!

Nelson Mandela University operations are in full swing, with academic and support staff gearing up for the official start of the 2019 academic year.

Have South Africa’s leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles been displaced from their optimal habitats by human activities or by changing climatic conditions?

Mandela University is part of a £20 million (R358m) programme aimed at tackling threats to the world’s oceans. From plastic pollution to rising sea levels and acidification to over-fishing, the threats facing our oceans are well documented. 

Uganda has two million organic farmers, 200 000 of whom are certified as organic producers, which qualifies them to sell and export their products as organic, and gain higher revenue. There is no reason why South Africa cannot achieve the same, according to Nelson Mandela University's Professor Raymond Auerbach, whose research over the past 45 years on organic farming and sustainable food systems, has established him as an international authority. He has doctoral students working in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa.

In grappling with the decolonisation of teacher education, Professor Nokhanyo Nomakhwezi Mayaba’s concern is whether or not curriculum developers invest issues of language – which she believes to be at the heart of the curriculum – with thought and ingenuity.

"The ways in which poor working class communities and schools come together to create an enabling environment for learning to occur is rapidly emerging as a practice and scholarship,” says the Director of the Centre for the Community School (CCS) in the Faculty of Education, Dr Bruce Damons, who graduated with his PhD in 2017and was the recipient of the South African Education Research Association (SAERA) national award for the top PhD.

Only a final sign-off is needed for the Eastern Cape to get its second medical school. The recruitment of students for SA’s second post-apartheid medical school at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth will start soon, with the first batch expected to start classes in January 2020.

“Pain is the most common medical symptom worldwide,” Prof Truter says. “It intrigues me because it is so common and there is a story behind every pain condition – from physical pain, such as a broken leg or migraine – to emotional pain. There is also a strong addictive component to painkillers such as codeine – a mild, over-the-counter opioid available in South Africa.”

The fruits of the East and South African-German Centre of Excellence for Educational Research Methodologies and Management (CERM-ESA) became evident when the first cohort of eight scholarship students, all from Kenya, graduated in December 2017, 50% of them cum laude.

Africa’s   first   internationally   accredited   testing    facility for lithium-ion batteries is situated at Nelson Mandela University. This has been achieved through the intensive facilitation and activities of the uYilo eMobility Technology Innovation Programme.


The organising theme of our work over the next five years, beginning in 2018, is to position our intellectual and social project - In Service to Society - at the centre of our university.

Situated in the School of Information and Communication Technology, the CCT was established by Prof Greunen in 2014 and has grown exponentially in the past four years. From a team of one, it now has an internal team of 19 postgraduates and lecturers, and a full-time business analyst and project manager. Externally, the CCT subcontracts a team of 27 Mandela University IT graduates now working   as IT professionals in Port Elizabeth, which is fast gaining momentum as a “software city”.

“Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and gliders, also known as autonomous underwater vehicles  (AUVs), are classified as Remotely Piloted Vehicles, and are rapidly gaining ground globally as they have revolutionary potential in their diverse applications,” says mechanical engineer, Damian Mooney, who is one of South Africa’s few specialists in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). He has been a commercial pilot for 20 years and is a member of the Mandela University Autonomous Operations (MAO) Group in the Faculty of EBEIT, which is working on a range of pioneering drones and gliders to support the research conducted by the university’s scientists and engineers.

“In business and life you have to work hard, you have to have integrity and you have to choose your partners carefully,” says Dr Judy Dlamini, medical doctor, MBA, Doctor of Business Leadership, Wits University Chancellor and one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs.

An international women’s rights activist, renowned rugby player and humanitarian and a businessperson with a passion for development were honoured at the annual Nelson Mandela University’s Council Prestige Awards for using their individual influence for the greater good of humanity.

Nearly 2000 Nelson Mandela University graduands are set to be conferred their under- and postgraduate qualifications at the institution’s six summer graduation sessions this week.

Software developer, cloud computing, problem solver and analyst, David Brown focused on becoming excellent in his field of expertise.

Mthatha-born singer and songwriter Amanda Benedicta Antony – better known by her stage name, Amanda Black – grew up pursuing one dream only: to be a famous singer. The 25-year-old spent her childhood entering school talent shows and competitions – but it was her third entry to SA Idols in 2015 that ultimately led to her success.

From small beginnings working alongside his father in the automotive industry, Hiten Parmar is now leading the automotive technology landscape in South Africa.

Rising Star awardee and proud Nelson Mandela University alumnus, Zimbabwean-born Solomon Mudege certainly lives up to the award in the 13 years since he first graduated with BCom HMS: Sport & Recreation in 2005, to promotion to FIFA Senior Development Manager, which he achieved earlier in 2018. 

Make things happen

Seasoned international business and legal executive and strategist, Kurt Pakendorf believes in making things happen. He graduated from Nelson Mandela University with BProc (1991) and is currently the Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel for Face IT Limited in London, UK and California, USA. 

As a small boy growing up in Port Elizabeth’s Northern Areas, Kurt Kannemeyer watched the TV series LA Law and Murder She Wrote – and knew one day he would become “a voice to those who needed a voice”.

It’s a dream that led him to study law – becoming the first in his family to go to university – and has seen him becoming an advocate for social justice in the United States. In recognition of his efforts, he received a prestigious Alumni Achiever Award from his alma mater Nelson Mandela University on November 23.

Orphaned as a teenager after the death of his parents in 2010, 17-year-old Vusumzi Qumza and his three siblings and a niece seemed destined for a life of hardship.

But thanks to the generosity of Sunday Times readers and a Good Samaritan, Qumza is on his way to graduating with a law degree and is now writing a book.

A renowned South African singing sensation, an international sports administrator, an e-mobility guru and a social justice advocate are just some of Nelson Mandela University’s alumni recognised for their outstanding contribution to society through their work.

“Twelve years ago I started challenging my students to give of their time and come up with an action plan that would help to change our part of the world for the better.” Director of the School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resources, Professor Michelle Mey, emphasises the importance of engagement-focused higher education and research in the School, in line with Nelson Mandela University’s vision. 

IT was “higher education” of an entirely different nature on Wednesday evening when a diverse panel of medical and anthropological academics at Nelson Mandela University unpacked some of the effects of the recent Constitutional Court ruling on the private use of dagga.

A national and global historic first – the scientific assessment of livestock predation and its management in South Africa – was recently launched at Nelson Mandela University. Edited by Mandela University researchers Prof Graham Kerley, Dr Sharon Wilson and Dave Balfour of the Centre for African Conservation Ecology, the publication provides government, industry, and stakeholders with detailed and current insight and knowledge on the complexities of managing livestock predation in policy development. 

Madibaz Sport continues to make its presence felt at a national level following the appointment of Yoliswa Lumka to the management team for the World Student Games next year. The director of sport at Nelson Mandela University will be deputy head of the South African delegation for the world event, which takes place in Napoli, Italy, from July 3 to 14.

SITE: Engaging the archive is a photographic exhibition by Photography Professor, Heidi Saayman Hattingh challenging perceptions of colonial English identity as private photographic narratives resist and/or endorse the popular image of women perpetuated by advertising in South African English-language women’s magazines during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

The Business School’s Inclusive Development and Strategic Growth Strategy, developed and launched in 2017, addresses its corporate citizenship contribution through a number of Strategic Development Projects (SDPs). These are all about making a meaningful contribution to socio- economic development, a central component of which is how the Business School can be more actively engaged in SMME development and entrepreneurial training   programmes at the local development scale, in line with the national imperative.

A rare and special plant species that was believed to be extinct for years, has literally raised its head on our nature reserve again, making our reserve even more important as a conservation area and raising our status as a reserve.

In years past, spaces for people and spaces for infrastructure were not seen to be associated with each other. Our cities were set up to be divided and categorised. Large, centralised sewage treatment plants were originally constructed on the periphery of cities and in many cases were not well managed or ecologically considerate, leading to the current situation of derelict wastelands with people living in and around them, as urban expansion has far exceeded historic town planning.

An exhibition of Mandela University‘s second-year Architecture students on “Architectural Engagements with our Human Origins” is currently on display at Werk Workshop in Alabaster Street, Baakens Valley.

Korsten was just a blot on Port Elizabeth’s landscape – riddled with plague and disease and a dreadful slum.

That is how the apartheid regime described the area in the 1950s amid one of the biggest forced removals in the country when more than 45,000 people were forcibly kicked out of the suburb and resettled in the townships of New Brighton or Kwazakhele. 

Let us decode terms that relate to gender, gender equality, patriarchy and sex to make them more relatable.

The Nelson Mandela University Eco-Car Team were again crowned Champions of the 2018 Shell Eco-Marathon: South Africa (SEM:SA) in their category at the Zwartkops Raceway in Mid-Rand, Gauteng last weekend

THE cultural and creative industries (CCI) are often misunderstood. Not anymore. The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO), based at Nelson Mandela University, has developed a baseline cultural information system to help practitioners, policy-makers and planners better understand the South African cultural and creative economy.

Fisheries crime, or “multicrimes” affecting the fisheries sector range from illegal capture of fish to human trafficking and forced labour, fraud, forgery, corruption, money laundering and tax and customs evasion. These crimes pose a massive challenge to fisheries law enforcement agencies in developing countries across the world.

The Nelson Mandela Bay metro is to spearhead an African drive to cut marine plastic pollution. The aim of the Norwayfunded project is that marine plastic pollution will be slashed to zero in the Bay within three years and the same will be achieved in Africa within 17 years.

The Batteries & Electric Vehicles Conference 2018 is all charged up for Monday and Tuesday, October 29 and 30. The conference, taking place in Nelson Mandela Bay has attracted speakers and delegates from around the world.

Politicians are not going to fix South Africa’s economy – rather we need to look to entrepreneurs. These were the words of Professor Ronney Ncwadi during his inaugural lecture at Nelson Mandela University, where he received his full professorship on Tuesday.

Pupils from disadvantaged schools across the Eastern Cape are taking their first steps towards IT careers, by getting a feel for coding theory.

The frustration of not knowing what to study has been harnessed to great effect by a Nelson Mandela University fashion and textile design student, who is delighted to have been chosen to represent SA in a design competition in London.

In a first for SA, Nelson Mandela University (NMU) launched a digital storytelling laboratory, Common Good First, in Port Elizabeth on Monday – to tell the stories of the voiceless and provide opportunities for effective and targeted partnerships to deal with social problems in communities.

South African field athlete Ischke Senekal and karate ace Gcobani Maxama walked away with the top accolades at the Madibaz Sport gala awards evening in Port Elizabeth on Friday night.

The newly launched marine research initiative infrastructure will provide direct data to grow the blue economy, especially in the key sectors of fishing, aquaculture, oil and gas, shipping, mining and coastal development. The array of sensors and research platforms will place South Africa and its scientists at the forefront of climate and global change research in the coastal zone.

Language and (de)colonisation in Africa was recently discussed at a two-day workshop, which Nelson Mandela University hosted in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale) in Germany.

South Africa's oceans play a vital role in Southern Africa's climate and weather patterns, and also influence the climate globally. However, ongoing pollution, climate change and other factors are threatening these oceans.


"True success is determined by the number of lives you change." These are words that postgraduate economics student and entrepreneur Sandile Mjamba lives by – and his will to succeed is largely driven through his endeavours to create the space for youth entrepreneurship development.

By 2025, electric vehicles – which have zero exhaust emissions – are expected to cost the same as combustion cars, and many more people will opt to drive them.  

In a public lecture at Nelson Mandela University, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said: “Considering 27 of those years were spent in prison, it tells us about the resilience of the man and the fact he was not prepared to let those conditions in prison prevent him from obtaining his dream of being Mandela the lawyer.

A guesthouse in the remote Riemvasmaak conservancy area in the Northern Cape now has cost-effective access to water. This is thanks to a solar pump station developed by Nelson Mandela University’s Advanced Mechatronic Technology Centre, in collaboration with the merSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training).

Student and staff printing needs have had a welcome boost this year with the opening in January of the ICT CopyTech shop at the South Campus Kraal complex.

At the height of the #FeesMustFall movement in 2016, when universities closed for months, lecturer Shelley Saunders came up with an innovative system to ensure her students did not fall behind – and she continues to use it today.

A large clearing adjacent to the main intersection in front of the main tower building on Nelson Mandela University’s South Campus awaits the establishment of a new solar farm, to supply the institution with green electricity going into the future. The project is planned to be completed by February 2019.

Over the past 10 years, South Africa’s health sector has spent R120-billion importing Advanced Pharmaceutical Intermediates (APIs), which are essentially the ingredients needed to make generic medicines to treat HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Students studying nature conservation at Nelson Mandela University's George Campus are set to benefit from the proceeds of the Schalk Willem Theron Trust.

Nelson Mandela University is the first university in South Africa to offer the Advanced Diploma in Technical and Vocational Teaching (Adv Dip TVT). It is a diploma programme which, studied over two years, part-time, will provide lecturers in the TVET sector with a professional lecturer’s qualification. The qualification is five years in the making after the government gazetted the policy in 2013.

An award-winning psychology centre in one of Nelson Mandela Bay’s most impoverished townships is making a dramatic difference to hundreds of lives – and highlighting the critical importance of a multidisciplinary approach to health care in South Africa.

NELSON Mandela University together with a consortium of three university partners have been awarded a multi-year contract to advance the operations of the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) and support the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC).

Marine top predators like seals, penguins and other seabirds are often referred to as the sentinels of the sea, as their behaviour provides important insights into the state of our seas. 

The South African Business Schools Association (SABSA) recently appointed Nelson Mandela University Business School Director Dr Randall Jonas as its new president. Dr Jonas served as the association’s deputy president last year.

Nelson Mandela University’s Tourism Department will launch a new programme offering, the BCom Hospitality Management programme, on World Tourism Day (27 September). The new programme will be offered to 40 students in 2019.

The technical and vocational sector is globally punted as the main driver of post-school education because of its potential to drive economic development. In South Africa, government has identified Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as a national priority, with a goal of having a headcount of 2.5-million students enrolled in TVET colleges by 2030.

Eleven third-year and honours Media, Communication and Culture (BA: MCC) students had the opportunity to engage with the horseracing community and produce films to be showcased locally and alongside the international television broadcasting of horseracing on the DSTV Tellytrack channel.

Nelson Mandela University recently recognised the institution’s academics who have excelled in their respective fields of teaching, research and engagement – with these efforts aimed at making a difference in communities and effectively changing the world.

Well-Known South African freedom fighter, activist, actor, storyteller, playwright, director and author Dr Gcina Mhlope, will be delivering a public lecture titled Bones of Memory: In pursuit of Cultural Heritage at the Nelson Mandela University in Heritage Month, in the centenary year of Nelson Mandela.

Forty-one years after his brutal death at the hands of apartheid security police, the spirit and legacy of Black Consciousness Movement leader Bantu Stephen Biko remains a resilient and undying one.


Centre for Law in Action Director Prof Hennie van As and Faculty of Law colleagues Prof Aifheli Tshivhase, who is the Head of Department: Criminal & Procedural Law, and Tina Hokwana have been appointed as members of the “civilian oversight committee” of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Police. Prof Van As is the chairperson.

After receiving thousands of entries from across the country and putting the entrants through a rigorous four-phase judging process, South Africa’s Top 100 university students have been unearthed from across the country.

Mandela University’s Advanced Mechatronic Technology Centre (AMTC) recently designed and manufactured industrial automation training equipment for the East Cape Midlands College’s Brickfield Campus in Uitenhage to be used in artisan training.

Over the past two years, Absa has invested in the youth and the future of the country by assisting 233 Nelson Mandela University students with bursaries to the value of R11 million.

Professor Darelle van Greunen, the Director of the Centre for Community Technologies at Nelson Mandela University, has received an Honorary Professorship from Amity University (India).

Close to twenty awards were presented to excelling Nelson Mandela University (George Campus) Accounting students during the prestigious 2018 School of Accounting BCom George Excellence Awards sponsored by SAICA Southern Cape District Association.

The Humanising Pedagogy Praxis and Research Niche (HPPRN) project of the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Prof Denise Zinn, launched the Humanising Pedagogy Portal and poster.

High Rates of unemployment continue to affect thousands of graduates on an annual basis. Every year, universities produce graduates from different academic disciplines and send them into the labour market with an idea that upon graduation, they will be liberated with unlimited job opportunities.

Scholars, artists and academics from Africa and abroad have gathered at Nelson Mandela University to critically reflect on significant cultural and economic shifts taking place around the world, with the aim of building up to new cultural discourses.

Centre for Community Technologies (CCT) Director at Nelson Mandela University, Prof Darelle van Greunen, recently attended the installation of Glasgow Caledonian University’s new Chancellor, singer, songwriter, political activist and philanthropist, Annie Lennox. 

Court interdict

Staff and students are reminded that an interdict remains in force (see copies attached).  The court order is aimed at protecting the rights of those who wish to access the University to work and pursue their studies, while also allowing for the democratic right to protest peacefully in accordance with the conditions stipulated.

Classes and shuttle services have been temporarily postponed until 10am on all Port Elizabeth campuses due to protest action at North and South campus entrances early today.

Nelson Mandela University has taken a decision to suspend all academic activities for the day, including evening classes, while management actively engages with protesting students on matters relating to gender-based violence (GBV).

The alleged rape incident of this past weekend has once again foregrounded Nelson Mandela University’s deep concerns regarding reported, and unreported, cases of gender-based violence. The University unequivocally reiterates its condemnation of acts of GBV and remains committed to working with staff and students to embed a culture of zero tolerance.

Nelson Mandela University, with its main campus uniquely situated in a nature reserve, has become a safe haven for rehabilitated wild animals.

Higher education in South Africa and globally is in transition. In the country, student movements, intellectual analyses and government reports over the last few years have highlighted that the move towards more decolonised, equitable and inclusive institutions of higher learning has been slow.

The waves of change in South African society and the higher education sector in recent years have necessitated deep reflection and introspection on the content and pace of transformation. Young people have been key participants and contributors to conversations around the deepening of transformation in the country and sector, as witnessed during the campaigns for access, transformation and decolonisation in the last few years.

As part of National Science Week 2018, Nelson Mandela University presents "Two Neutron Stars Collide - and the explosion shakes up the universe and lights up the sky!". A presentation by the Dean of the Faculty fo Science, Prof Azinwinndini Muronga. 

Transformation in South Africa generally, and higher education in particular, has progressed at a painfully slow pace. To address this, Nelson Mandela University has, for the last decade, been hard at work on deepening transformation at the institution through various initiatives, as well as contributing to national conversation.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

This famous Nelson Mandela quote is a powerful illustration of the immense value the global icon placed on education. It is this very statement by the former president, made in July 2003, that the Faculty of Education's colloquium on 19-20 July seeks to interrogate as a means to understand its contextual relevance in the 21st century.

The Faculty of Health Sciences at Nelson Mandela University supported the National Transplant Games that took place on the 13th and 14th of July 2018 in Port Elizabeth. Various departments from the Faculty of Health Sciences volunteered their services, staff and students to help with the event.

NELSON Mandela University’s South Campus will soon be producing just over 10% of its electricity requirements, thanks to an innovative R18-million green power plant, which is being established on the campus this month (July).

Restless curiosity, wild brilliance, particle physics, rocket building and launching, ancient African interpretations of the night skies, coding and computation in anticipation of the fourth industrial revolution and big data science.


Nelson Mandela University is one of the largest campuses in South Africa and is situated on an extensive nature reserve, resulting in university buildings being largely dispersed, leaving students, staff and visitors, who do not own vehicles, having to traverse considerable distances.

The year 2018 is an important one as South Africa, and the world, celebrate 100 years of one of the 20th century’s most revered leaders, Nelson Mandela. The Mandela Centenary Year, as it has come to be known, will see heightened efforts to mark the life, times and legacy of a man who has dedicated the bulk of his life in service to the people, particularly the vulnerable and marginalised. 

Following a highly successful run at this year’s National Arts Festival in Makhanda, dance production Love in the Time of Revolution comes to the Port Elizabeth Opera House tomorrow evening (July 11).

Nelson Mandela University acknowledged the academic achievements of its top students at the annual Academic Awards Dinner with the leadership encouraging the recipients to use their ability to serve others.

Through the ages, the sea has not only fascinated marine biologists but also poets, painters, filmmakers, thinkers and composers. Nelson Mandela University’s Faculty of Arts is hosting a colloquium, titled The Nautical Metaphors in the Arts, which is the first step taken by the faculty to bring together speakers from different disciplines to discuss a common theme related to the ocean sciences.

The recent screening of former British High Court Judge Nicholas Stadlen’s documentary Life is Wonderful in Nelson Mandela Bay has reinforced the national call for the inclusion of such authentic depictions and aspects of South African history into the curriculum.

Working together in seeking solutions is a catch phrase of the Missionvale Care Centre, which has been providing access to health, well-being and education in an impoverished environment for the past 30 years.

On 3 May 2018 an email headed “UNIVERSITY UPDATE – 3 MAY 2018”, was sent out via MEMO. A copy of the interim Court Order obtained on 3/05/2018 was attached to the MEMO.

Water-saving initiatives will be factored into the budget of every new building to be constructed at Nelson Mandela University – to ensure all new buildings are water-wise.

Reasons to be Proud (R2bP): Congratulations to Nelson Mandela University Alumni sisters,  Nomakhomazi Dewavrin and Okuhle Dyosopu, whose documentary film was screened at the Encounters 20th South African International Documentary Festival in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The South African higher education sector is in a state of transition, with conversations around the deepening of transformation in the sector having gained renewed vigour. Students have been key participants and contributors to these conversations, as witnessed during the campaign for access, transformation and decolonisation in recent years.

Reasons to be Proud (R2bP): Congratulations to Nelson Mandela University FIFA/CIES Alumnus, Stanley Raubenheimer, who has been appointed as the Coach of the Springbok Women’s Rugby team.

Our universe – which is all of time and space and everything in it – is mostly unchartered territory. n an attempt to answer age-old questions (and no doubt stimulate new ones) about activity in the ether, from black holes to hard-to-see rotating stars called pulsars to the possibility of life elsewhere, a massive amount of space data is being gathered and analysed worldwide.