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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Gold Medal Award Ceremony

26 March 2018

Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D. presented the 2017 Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals at a ceremony in Academy House on 23 March.

2017 Winners

The 2017 winners are Professor Malcolm MacLachlan, Professor of Psychology and Social Inclusion at Maynooth University and Professor John J. Walsh, Professor of Structural Geology and Director of iCRAG at University College Dublin to honour their outstanding contributions to the fields of the Social Sciences and the Environmental Sciences and Geosciences, respectively.

About the Gold Medals

The medals aim to identify and recognise inspirational figures – the stars of the knowledge economy – 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.

The Minister congratulated the medallists, saying:

‘each of these awardees have demonstrated through their outstanding contributions to academia and the impact of their research the intersection of research, scholarship and real-world application’.

The Academy, with the generous support of the Higher Education Authority, is delighted to honour both outstanding recipients.

The Gold Medals were awarded before an audience of members of the Irish higher education system, funding agencies, colleagues, friends and family members of the medallists.

The Academy Gold Medals are kindly sponsored by the Higher Education Authority.

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