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In 2005, the Royal Irish Academy and the Higher Education Authority established six high profile Gold Medals to acclaim Ireland’s foremost thinkers in the humanities, social sciences, and across the fields of science.

The medals aim to identify and recognise inspirational figures – the stars of the knowledge economy – in order to celebrate the achievements of higher education in Ireland and to inspire future generations. In doing so, the Gold Medals have become recognised as a truly national expression of celebration for scholarly achievement in Ireland.

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Gold Medal Design Origins

The design for the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals includes ‘Salmon of Knowledge II’ a beautiful work by artist, J. Caz Bentley (1960-2015)

Gold Medal Design Origins

A print of three salmon fish in a blue circular design.