The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Funding Basic Research in Science

18 March 2015

Many of our members signed a recent letter to the Irish Times Letters section discussing the funding crisis in science research.

The letter highlights the concern amongst Irish researchers about current policies relating to research. ‘The policy of sustained investment in scientific excellence that helped build a vibrant scientific community in Ireland over the past 15 years has given way to a short-sighted drive for commercialisable research in a very limited set of prescribed areas.’

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The letter goes on discuss decreasing grants awarded to universities versus the constant demand to increase the student population.

According to the academics ‘basic research and science education go hand in hand – aspirations for a knowledge economy must therefore recognise that a connected ecosystem is required to achieve this’.

They end with a call to the Government and funding bodies ‘in devising the successor to the “Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006-2013”, to reconsider their current policies and rebalance the funding of science to strongly support not only applied or “oriented basic” research in prioritised areas but also basic research across the full range of scientific disciplines.’

Read the letter in full.

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