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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Discourse Series 2023/24 programme announced

18 July 2023

We are pleased to announce the programme for our forthcoming Discourse Series of public lectures.

The RIA’s discourses are the oldest and most renowned series of public talks in Ireland. The first discourses were presented in 1786. Historically, they served as occasions for the most distinguished academics to first reveal and discuss their work in public. Robert Mallet revealed his pioneering work on earthquakes and William Rowan Hamilton talked about quaternion algebra first at RIA discourses. The purpose of our modern discourse series is to bring thought leaders to the RIA to discuss important contemporary issues.

Over the 2023–24 academic year we will welcome 14 speakers. Their discourses will explore such diverse topics as international literature, Ulster unionism, climate science, technological innovations in cancer treatment and in targeting greenhouse gases, the history of psychiatry in Ireland, and the future of the European Union.

The 2023–24 discourse topics and speakers are:

  • ‘The Nobel Prize and the idea of the universal’, Anders Olsson, Chair of the Nobel Committee, The Swedish Academy. 17 October 2023.

  • ‘Light illuminates innovation in medicine and climate solutions’, Professor Naomi Halas, Director, Smalley-Curl Institute, Rice University, Houston, Texas. 16 November 2023.

  • ‘Grangegorman. From the era of neglect to the era of the asylum—and back?’, Dr Brendan Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght University Hospital, in conversation with Catriona Crowe MRIA. 13 December 2023.

  • ‘The Geometry of Chaos: From Climate Change to Foundations of Quantum Physics’, Tim Palmer Hon. MRIA, Royal Society Research Professor in Climate Physics, Oxford University. 7 February 2024.

  • 'Explaining Unionism’, discussion panel with Glenn Patterson, Director, Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen's University Belfast; Philip Orr, Historian; and Linda Ervine MBE, Founder and Project Manager, Turas Irish language project. Chaired by Tommie Gorman. 18 April 2024.

  • ‘The future of the European state’, Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union (2020-24), in conversation with Olivia O'Leary MRIA. 23 May 2024.

Bookings will open in due course via our website events page or sign up to our newsletter to hear about our latest events. 

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