THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY IS IRELAND'S LEADING BODY OF EXPERTS IN THE SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

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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Michael Burton

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium

Professor Michael Burton is the Director of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. This brings together running the oldest continuously active observatory in the UK & Ireland with its longest operating planetarium. It is a job that embraces fundamental research, education, public outreach, history, heritage and culture within a single organisation.

His academic career includes significant periods in the USA (NASA, Mauna Kea Observatory), Australia (Anglo Australian Observatory, University of New South Wales), Chile (Universidad de Chile, Chajnantor Observatory), Antarctica (South Pole and the high Antarctic Plateau), as well as Ireland (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies) and the UK (Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, the Royal Greenwich Observatory and Armagh).

Burton is an astronomer, with research expertise in the formation of stars in our Galaxy, and an educator with 25 years university-level teaching (including Director of Teaching in Physics), combined together with an active involvement in science communication and outreach.

He is past President of the largest Division of the International Astronomical Union (Division B – Facilities, Technology, Data Science) and Vice President of its Commission for World Heritage.  He served as Editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of New South Wales.  Burton is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of Australia, the Australian Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of New South Wales.

He wrote and directed the Planetarium show “Our Place in the Cosmos” that was played daily during COP26 in Glasgow.
 

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