Congratulations to Prof David Collings (DCU Business School) Prof Robert Forster (School of Chemical Sciences) and Prof Miles Turner (School of Physical Sciences) who were admitted as members of the Royal Irish Academy at a virtual event earlier today.
Election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy is an accolade bestowed to exceptional individuals who are internationally renowned in their respective fields. It is the highest academic distinction in Ireland.
- Professor David Collings is Professor of Human Resource Management at DCU Business School and Associate Dean for Research. His research and teaching focuses on the future of work, talent management and global staffing.
- Professor Robert Forster holds the Personal Chair of Physical Chemistry within the School of Chemical Science at DCU and is the Director of the National Centre for Sensor Research. He has been involved in major national research programmes including the establishment of the National Centre for Sensor Research, the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, the National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform and the NanoBioAnalytical Research Facility at DCU.
- Professor Miles Turner from DCU’s School of Physical Sciences and Director of the National Centre for Plasma Science and Technology. His work focuses on computational physics, fusion energy generation and plasmas.
Welcoming the 29 newly admitted members, Dr Mary Canning, president of the Academy, said
‘Ireland should be immensely proud of these women and men who have brought international acclaim to our country. As members of the Royal Irish Academy they will strengthen our capacity to provide the expert advice Ireland needs at this time’.
She thanked the many Academy members who had put their expertise at the service of the people of Ireland during the current COVID-19 crisis and announced that ‘an Academy steering group has been established to develop and coordinate the activities of the various Academy committees and members and to maximise the Academy’s convening power across all humanities, social sciences and science disciplines throughout the island of Ireland.’
In her address she called for the establishment of a multi-disciplinary group of independent scientific advisers under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach, to advise government on the formidable scientific challenges facing Ireland, such as COVID-19 and climate change, as Ireland’s office of the Chief Scientific Adviser currently lacks the staff or budget to do the complex job that is now urgently required.
The Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) was established after the economic crash, to provide ‘integrated cross-government advice’. ‘An equivalent science advisory service is now required for good government’, Dr Canning said and urged political parties engaged in coalition talks to prioritise the establishment of this in any programme for government.
Dr Canning looks forward to the day when she can physically welcome the new members to Academy House.
There are currently 618 members of the Academy, 88 of whom are Honorary members, including Nobel laureate William C. Campbell, and Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford. Other members include Mary E. Daly, historian and commissioner with the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation; Brian MacCraith, physicist and president of Dublin City University; and Frances Ruane, economist and chair of the Abbey Theatre.