South Africa and Israel - Different countries with common problems

This article compares Israel and South Africa, and the author limits discussion to science. Science problems between the countries are similar due to similar geopolitical locations in subtropical zones, far removed from the main stream of scientific effort. Comparing the science policy of the two countries, both have realised that their standing in the world is a function of their scientific and technical achievement. However, South Africa seems to devote less attention to such than Israel. Concerning self-sufficiency, both countries have insufficient manpower to fulfil the demands of a technological society. The solution lies in the best utilisation of existing manpower, and the long-term solution is in the hands of the universities. The problem of governmental research versus academic research also occupies both countries. In electronics, Israel has made a little more progress than South Africa, but SA has more experience in metallurgy, and there is some similarity in agriculture, while the pharmaceutical industry in both is starting up. In fundamental research, there are similarities between the two countries, and in nuclear physics the two verge on almost identical lines. The conclusion is that the most urgent problem is finding new methods and tools of education. The author is impressed by the similarity between the countries in the field of science, and wonders if collaboration between them might be of value due to their mutual isolation.