The University of Cape Town’s annual Summer School programme, now celebrating its 70th year of existence, provides the single biggest opportunity for the public to enjoy the knowledge resources of the university.

From 6 – 25 January 2020, the precinct of the university’s Middle Campus will be transformed into an open community space where an array of over 120 short courses and lectures on everything from popular science to climate change, music to current affairs, social issues and politics will challenge ingrained assumptions and provide enlightenment on key debates.

The UCT Summer School programme 2020 has developed a cluster of courses and lectures dedicated to the essential conversations that we need to be having around the environment and climate change, from a global perspective down to the realities of living in a water scarce Cape Town.

Climate Change and South Africa: Impacts and Responses, a short course presented by climatologist Dr Peter Johnston, from 13-15 January will present the scientific basis of global warming and climate change with special attention given to the impact on South Africa. The course present the mitigating alternatives to coal energy and the implications in the short and long term, as well as the adaptations that will be required by all of us.
Bringing the topic even closer to home will be Associate Professor Gina Ziervogel who will present, The Cape Town Drought: Lessons Learned, on 16 – 17 January. These two lectures will look back at the Cape Town drought and the build-up to “Day Zero”. Introduction to Green Building Design, presented by Songo Sokhululeka Didiza, CEO of Green Building Design Group is of interest not just to building professionals, but to anyone interested in the latest sustainable trends in the building space.

From 7 January the course will highlight legislation pertaining to green building, user based incentives for carbon reduction, and the latest knowledge and experience in the development of world-class innovative and sustainable green building design solutions.

Apart from these scientific approaches to climate change, UCT Summer School also challenges you to think differently with courses that approach the issue from atypical perspectives. Wilder Lives is a lecture presentation on 10 January by Professor Duncan Brown, while Professor John Higgins presents Catastrophe! Science Fiction and the Sustainable Development Goals from 6-10 January.