Future Leaders - African Independent Research (FLAIR) Fellowship recipients* Dr Gudrun Dittrich-Schröder and Dr Esther Muema attended meetings at the Royal Society in London from the 8-10 February. These prestigious FLAIR Fellowships have been awarded to African researchers to address global challenges of the continent. Due to COVID-19 the 2020 cohort of FLAIR fellows had not been able to meet in-person. Attendance at the meetings in London was two-fold, namely, to enable meeting, networking and engagement amongst the FLAIR fellows, as well as participation at the Meeting of the minds conference, which is an annual event hosted by the Royal Society where Royal Society Research Fellows share their work and are able to network.

FLAIR fellows commenced their visit in London with a dinner at the Royal Society where they were able to interact with peer Fellows, Royal Society staff and Royal Society Fellows. Thursday 8 February allowed participation at the Meeting of the minds conference, which consisted of plenary sessions, flash presentations and parallel sessions covering topics such as nanoscience and nanotechnologies, frontiers of fundamental science, data and digital technology and reimagined and resilient futures. Friday 9 February allowed further engagement with FLAIR fellows as well as feedback sessions and information on future funding possibilities. A special activity arranged for the FLAIR fellows included a brief discussion about selected items of scientific interest held in the Royal Society Archives. One of these included the register where Fellows of the Royal Society sign upon being accepted as a fellow, which included the signature of Sir Isaac Newton.

*Prof. Cobus Visagie is also a FABI FLAIR recipient but was unable to attend the meeting.