Gold Medals 2013

20 September 2013


PDF icon Enda Kenny's Keynote Address

Taoiseach Enda Kenny presented the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals to Geographer Professor Rob Kitchin and Professor of Physics Colin O’Dowd in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the Environmental Sciences and the Social Sciences. The medals were presented at a ceremony in Academy House in Dublin City Centre.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Gold Medal Winners Professor Rob Kitchin and Professor Colin O’Dowd

In presenting the medals the Taoiseach congratulated the medallists on their many achievements and paid tribute to the RIA for providing a platform to celebrate academia and the role it plays in our society and economy, saying: "Education and innovation are central to the Government's ambition of achieving economic recovery and the creation of jobs. The education and training system is a critical part of our recovery and growth. That is why, among the wide range of measures to boost job creation and improve the environment for business, R&D forms a central pillar of our Action Plan for Jobs. Click here to read the full speech.

Each medal is a testament to a lifetime of passionate commitment to the highest standards in scholarship and they are a well-deserved recognition of scientific excellence.

Professor Colin O’Dowd, Professor of Physics at National University of Ireland, Galway received the Gold Medal for Environmental and Geosciences. Through his pioneering work in the field of atmospheric physics he has become internationally renowned as one of the leading scientists in the field of climate change. He is also the Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, at the Environmental Change Institute.

Professor Rob Kitchin, Professor of Geography at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth received the Gold Medal for Social Sciences. His research in space and mapping has been hugely influential across the social sciences, especially with respect to understanding the relationship between technology, society and space. In 2012 Professor Kitchin received a European Research Council Advanced Grant, to investigate the development of smart cities. 
Guests at the ceremony included members of the Irish higher education system, funding agencies, the British and Greek ambassadors to Ireland and friends and family of the medallists.

At the Medal ceremony President of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Luke Drury, said the Academy Gold Medals recognise two of Ireland’s foremost contributors to the world of learning and science. Such public recognition of excellence is important, especially in the current climate, and the Academy is delighted to be able, with the generous support of the Higher Education Authority to honour today's recipients.

The Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals are awarded to two outstanding academics each year and are recognised as a truly national expression of celebration for scholarly achievement. The medals are sponsored by The Higher Education Authority

The Academy Gold Medals are supported by the Higher Education Authority.

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