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Global Science

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Introduction

The emerging global scientific landscape presents unprecedented opportunities of new forms of research and cooperation. Research infrastructure (RI) will provide a vital focal point for enabling this global collaboration. They provide platforms for bringing together human and technological resources, from wherever they are located, to address issues that cannot be tackled by one or two countries alone. By enabling structured cooperation between individuals and teams around the world, RI provide access to a wider range of ideas, facilities and resources and enable them to participate in networks engaged in cutting-edge research.

The emergence of a multipolar research landscape has raised the scope for internationalisation of RI cooperation. The emergence of cutting edge astronomy research infrastructure in South Africa, for example, is transforming the region into a centre of excellence to the benefit of global science. The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), inaugurated in 2005, is the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere and has brought together a collaborative team of universities from Africa, Europe, New Zealand and North America. More recently, the announcement that southern Africa will host the majority of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – the largest radio astronomy project in human history – captures the scale of opportunity to be found in the new global research landscape.