The inaugural Scientist and Oireachtas Member Pairing Scheme was launched by Minister Joe McHugh in Academy House on Tuesday 26th of May, 2015. The scheme, which ran for six months (May-November 2015), was a collaborative project between the RIA and the Houses of the Oireachtas and involved matching public representatives and active scientists working on the island of Ireland.
With the support of funding partners the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI), issues of national importance such as flooding risks, health and education service delivery, coastal erosion and geotourism were examined.
High profile public figures including Deputy Lucinda Creighton, Senator David Norris and Ministers Dara Murphy and Joe McHugh signed on to the scheme, They discussed diverse topics ranging from an examination of Ireland’s engagement with the European Union, to the tourism potential of Ireland’s unique geology as well as innovation within data analytics and geosciences.
This collaboration aimed to brief elected representatives on the world class research that is taking place in Ireland. This Pairing Scheme strengthened the role of evidence based research and enriched debate in public policy formation. It acted as a platform for future projects by highlighting the importance of academic research to key issues of concern for the public of Ireland.
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