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Perspectives and Pathways in a Time of Crisis: RIA Online Conversation Series

23 September 2020


PDF icon Cormac Ó Gráda Presentation PDF icon Frances Ruane Presentation PDF icon Patrick Honahan Presentation

The Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities, has convened an online workshop series curated by the Academy’s Vice- President, Daniel Carey, MRIA, NUIG to address the vital questions raised by the Covid-19 pandemic. Watch our latest webinars.

Covid-19 represents one of the greatest collective challenges the world has faced in modern times. Every aspect of society has been affected by the pandemic, from health to the economy and our most basic human and social values and traditions. The need for shared knowledge and understanding has never been greater as we contend with the crisis and plan for the future. This online series will allow expert panels to communicate the vital research and information that needs to be understood at this time.

Session 1, 'We are all Virologists now- the Science of Covid-19' took place on July 1 with:

  • Prof. Sam McConkey (RCSI): Testing, tracing and tracking
  • Prof. Paddy Mallon (UCD): Evolution of clinical management and therapeutic interventions
  • Prof. Kingston Mills MRIA (TCD): Vaccine development
  • Prof. Barbara Murphy (Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai, NY): Lessons learned and long term consequences
  • Prof. Ultan Power (QUB): SARS-CoV-2: Origin and evolution of the Virus
  • Chair: Prof. Catherine Godson, MRIA (UCD), Science Secretary, RIA


Session 2, 'Economic Crises Past and Present: Lessons for Irish Policy', took place on July 8 with:

  • Patrick Honohan, MRIA
  • Cormac Ó Gráda, MRIA
  • Frances Ruane, MRIA
  • Chair: Mary Daly, MRIA


Session 3, 'Covid-19: Social Justice and Rebuilding Ireland', took place on July 15 with:

  • Colette Bennett – Research and Policy Analyst at Social Justice Ireland
  • Sinéad Burke – Academic, Writer and Advocate
  • Yvonne Galligan (chair) – Director Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion TU Dublin
  • Salome Mbugua Henry – Commissioner of Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
  • Gerry MacRuairc – Professor of Education, NUI Galway
  • Chair: Yvonne Galligan (chair) – Director Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion TU Dublin


Session 4: 'Towards a Resilient Higher Education System', took place on 21 September with

  • Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD
  • Professor Pete Lunn, ESRI
  • Professor Philip Nolan President Maynooth University & Chair of the NPHET Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group.
  • Lorna Fitzpatrick, President, USI (Webinar Chair)
  • Dr Lynn Ramsey, Chair, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Letterkenny Institute of Technology

The Academy will convene further panels throughout 2020 as part of our work to contribute to the national effort in response to Covid-19. We would welcome suggestions and feedback to

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