Congratulating Karim, who is the chair of the country’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the epidemiologist had “richly influenced our response to this pandemic.”
“It is an honour to congratulate Prof. Karim on an outstanding achievement and international recognition of his contribution to science and to our national response to Covid-19,” Ramaphosa said.
He said Karim had, through his work, “enabled public understanding of Covid-19 through his clear and endearing communication of the science behind this global challenge to human health.”
“As an advisor in official fora and as an ambassador for science, Prof. Karim has richly influenced our response to this pandemic,” the president added.
The John Maddox Prize is a joint initiative of the charity, Sense About Science, and “Nature”, the leading international scientific journal.
The prize is awarded annually to recognise researchers who have shown great courage and integrity in standing up for science and scientific reasoning against fierce opposition and hostility, according to the presidency.
The 2020 prize was jointly awarded to Prof Karim, who is the Director of the Centre for Aids Programme of Research in South Africa and Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for standing up for science during the coronavirus pandemic, the high office said.
The prize recognises the two scientists’ work as prominent government advisors on health during the Covid-19 pandemic, and their exceptional communication of the science behind Covid-19 to the public and policymakers, the presidency added.