Fluorine research has been identified as a priority area in South Africa and the South
African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) is embarking in an effort to expand its hydrogen fluoride and aluminium trifluoride production capacity. On the eve of those efforts this article reports the findings of an effort to map and assess fluorine research in South Africa in comparison to four other countries i.e. Malaysia, Australia, Germany and Italy. The results of the assessment are aimed at guiding future directions for fluorine research in the country, at identifying centres of expertise nationally where new research chairs could be established, at identifying international centres of expertise
to be utilised for collaboration and of course for inter-temporal benchmarking of fluorine research in South Africa. South Africa is identified to be producing a small number of fluorine research publications in comparison to other countries like Germany and Italy which produce orders of magnitude larger number of publications and in comparison to country’s
total research effort. Furthermore the relevant research effort appears to be dispersed geographically and in disciplinary terms. Relevant recommendations are provided with particular emphasis on the pluralistic science policy approach followed in the country.