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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Admittance Day 2016

27 June 2016

22 outstanding scientists and researchers enrolled as Members of the RIA on Friday 27 May 2016. 

Amongst the newly elected members are: Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of Oxford University; Catherine Day, former secretary-general of the European Commission; Nobel Laureate Sir Paul Nurse; Tom Arnold, director general of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA); Michael Marsh, an expert on the Irish electoral system; and Brian Norton, president of Dublin Institute of Technology.

Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy, spoke at the ceremony, calling on the new Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, to introduce an Action Plan for Higher Education, similar to the successful Action Plan for Jobs that he implemented in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Professor Daly said that ‘the steady erosion of funding per student and the failure to invest in infrastructure has brought higher education to a crisis point requiring such an emergency action plan. No system can sustain a 38% decline in state grants (2007/8-2014/5) and at the same time absorb a 25% increase in student numbers’, she said.

‘Ireland and Iceland are the only two countries in the OECD where real expenditure on higher education per student dropped since the 2008 crash. Ireland cannot afford to be such an outlier in higher education. The sector needs a cross- government initiative, setting out clear actions and targets, which mobilises all the relevant government departments’.

Election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy—which has occurred annually since 1785—is the highest academic honour in Ireland. Those elected are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name. There are now 497 members of the Academy, in disciplines from the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

The newly elected members of the Royal Irish Academy are:

Humanities and Social Sciences: Tom Arnold (IIEA); Catherine Day (UCC governing body); Paul. Devereaux (UCD); Michael Marsh (TCD); William J. Mc Cormack; Diane Negra (UCD); Máirín Nic Eoin (St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra/DCU); Geoffrey Roberts (UCC).

Science: Frédéric Dias (UCD); Justin D. Holmes (UCC); Walter Kolch (UCD); Andrew Mills (QUB); Brian Norton (DIT); Stefano Sanvito (TCD); Emma Teeling (UCD).

Honorary Members: Garret A. FitzGerald (University of Pennsylvania); Conor A. Gearty (London School of Economics); Fabiola Gianotti (Director General, CERN); Sir Paul M. Nurse (Francis Crick Institute); Louise M. Richardson (Vice-chancellor, University of Oxford); Timothy Williamson (University of Oxford); Clair Wills (Princeton University).

Professor Mary Daly was quoting from the Royal Irish Academy Advice paper on the Future funding of higher education in Ireland.

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