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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'We are all virologists now’: the Science of Covid-19


Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 16:00 - 17:00




Free online event: booking essential

Session 1 of the RIA conversation series in response to the current crisis.

Covid-19 represents one of the greatest collective challenges the world has faced in modern times. Every aspect of society has been affected by the pandemic, from health to the economy and our most basic human and social values and traditions. The need for shared knowledge and understanding has never been greater as we contend with the crisis and plan for the future.

The Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities, will convene an online workshop series curated by the Academy’s Vice- President, Daniel Carey, MRIA, NUIG to address these vital questions, providing analysis and explanation for a public audience. Members of the academy, early career researchers, activists and experts from across society will be invited to join us so that we can be as inclusive and creative as possible.

The online conversations will take place throughout 2020 and bookings are now open for the first session:

Conversation 1: “We are all virologists now”: the Science of COVID-19

In this opening session of the RIA’s virtual discussion series, Perspectives and Pathways in a Time of Crisis, a group of leading medical and scientific experts will discuss key issues in the science of Covid-19. Questions include the origins and evolution of the virus; the challenges of “test, track and trace”; therapeutic interventions; the prospects for developing a vaccine; and the lessons and consequences of the pandemic.


  • Prof. Sam McConkey (RCSI): Testing, tracing and tracking 
  • Prof. Paddy Mallon (UCD): Evolution of clinical management and therapeutic interventions
  • Prof. Kingston Mills MRIA (TCD): Vaccine development
  • Prof. Barbara Murphy (Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai, NY): Lessons learned and long term consequences
  • Prof. Ultan Power (QUB): SARS-CoV-2: Origin and evolution of the Virus

Chair: Prof. Catherine Godson, MRIA (UCD), Science Secretary, RIA

Booking is free but essential. Registrants will receive further information and a zoom link for attendance in advance of the session. Queries should be directed to

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