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The sciences of our origins reveals the shared African roots of all people. PAST uses Africa's ancient heritage to build African dignity, promote social cohesion and environmental conservation, inspire scientific curiosity among school-going youth, and establish African leadership in the sciences related to our origins.
Far from supporting a purely academic pursuit, PAST uses the science of our origins to promote three major themes of great relevance to modern social issues and future prospects in Africa, and, indeed, across the world.African Pride and Dignity The knowledge that Africa is humankind’s birthplace bestows a deep dignity upon the continent while providing Africans with a tremendous sense of pride. Unity Amid Diversity Cultural and physical differences ensure the uniqueness of every individual. Yet underlying this diversity is a deeply woven humanity common to all people.
Our Place in Nature Africa’s fossil heritage shows that the environment played a major role in the evolution of life and humankind. If the pace and extent of environmental change is too rapid or large for species to adapt, some will go extinct.
The Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST) is a Johannesburg-based public benefit organisation that is dedicated to the mission of protecting, preserving and promoting the scientific evidence for our shared origins in Africa and to making this evidence valuable to the future of humankind. Since 1994, we have brought together scientists, business, government and communities to support research, education and public awareness in the sciences related to our origins.
Development of Africa’s fossil heritage for the benefit of the continent requires coordination and equitable distribution of private, corporate and government support for the creation of sustainable origin sciences education, research and public outreach programmes.
PAST is run by a dedicated team who operate with the support of both local and global experts as well as a passionate board of trustees and champions.
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