Admittance Day Booklet 2020

Royal Irish Academy

Admittance of

New Members

22 May 2020



Ceremony begins at 4.00 p.m.

• Welcome by the President

• Reading of the Member’s Declaration

• Admittance of Honorary Members

• Admittance of Members

Officers Officiating at the Ceremony

Oifigigh ag Feidhmiú ag an Searmanas


Dr Mary Canning


Professor Patrick M. Shannon

Secretary for Polite Literature and Antiquities

Professor Mary O’Dowd

Secretary for Science

Professor Catherine Godson

The Royal Irish Academy

Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann

The Royal Irish Academy is an all-island, independent forum founded

by Royal Charter in 1785 as Ireland’s academy for the sciences and the


Like many national academies founded in the eighteenth century it

aims to promote high levels of scholarship, to act as a national and

international body for the various academic disciplines, to advise

government in the fields of science, research and education and

to promote collaboration between scholars and different learned

institutions at home and abroad.

The Council of 21 Members and the President are the governing

authority. Council incorporates two general committees: the

Committee of Science and the Committee of Polite Literature and

Antiquities. The Academy is a registered charitable organisation and is

funded principally by an annual grant-in-aid from the Higher Education


The Academy brings together the worlds of academia, government

and industry to address issues of mutual interest, through our major

outreach events and legacy research projects. It is internationally

renowned for its role in promoting excellence in scholarship,

recognising achievements in learning and directing research.

The Academy provides and administers funds for researchers through

its grants programmes and supports efforts to enable early-career

scholars to create international networks and take part in public

engagement initiatives.

The Academy library is one of Ireland’s premier research libraries

and includes a unique collection of medieval Irish manuscripts and

substantial collections of later and contemporary material. The

Academy is active in scholarly publishing, and its books, journals,

pamphlets, reports, maps and fascicles communicate the latest Irish

scholarship to a wide public.

The Academy provides access to valuable networks of scholarly

expertise across the world, and acts as a portal for international

discussion of the scholarship in which Irish academics and researchers

are engaged, helping to raise Ireland’s international profile.



The Royal Irish Academy champions Irish academic research. One of

its principal roles is to identify and recognise Ireland’s world-class

researchers. It supports excellent scholarship and promotes awareness

of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society.

The Academy draws its membership from the whole island of Ireland,

both north and south. Membership is awarded to persons who have

attained the highest distinction by their unique contributions to

education and research. Each year, up to 24 new Members may be

elected. Members of the Academy are entitled and encouraged to

use the letters MRIA after their names.

A small number of Honorary Members are also elected each year.

The distinction of Honorary Membership is usually reserved for

academics who have made a major international contribution to

their disciplines but who are not normally resident in Ireland.

Members assist the Academy in its work by providing expert advice

for its Council and committees, by representing the Academy

nationally and internationally and by promoting the Academy’s

strategic mission. Drawing on our Members’ expertise, we make a

significant contribution to public debate and public policy formation

on issues in science, technology and culture.

At its inception in 1785, the Academy had 88 Members; now there

are 618 (of whom 88 are Honorary Members), almost equally

divided between the sciences and the humanities. Each Member is

formally admitted in a special ceremony, during which they subscribe

to the Member’s Declaration of Obligations and sign the Roll Book

of Members.*

* Members admitted on 22 May 2020 will sign the Roll Book at Academy meetings at the

earliest possible opportunity.

About our new Members

Luanna do na Baill nua

22 May 2020

Honorary Members

Polite Literature and Antiquities

Janet Browne is Aramont Professor of the

History of Science at Harvard University. She is

the world’s leading scholar on Charles Darwin,

and her two-volume biography on him has

won wide acclaim. Her most recent book, The

quotable Darwin (Princeton University Press,

2017), provides further compelling insights

into the legendary naturalist’s scholarship as

well as his private life. She is a fellow of the

American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a

corresponding fellow of the British Academy.

David Hempton is one of the world’s most

distinguished historians of religion. He is based

at Harvard University, where he is the Alonzo

L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical

Theological Studies, the John Lord O’Brian

Professor of Divinity, and the dean of the

Divinity School. His books have won numerous

awards and include Methodism and politics in

British society 1750–1850 (Stanford University

Press, 1984); Methodism: empire of the spirit (Yale

University Press, 2005) and The church in the long

eighteenth century (Tauris, 2011). His most recent

book is Secularization and religious innovation in

the north Atlantic world (Oxford, 2017).

Thomas J.J. O’Loughlin is professor of

Historical Theology at the University of

Nottingham. He is an authority on the origins

and evolution of the liturgy and theology of the

early Christian Church, as well as being a leading

scholar in the field of Early Insular Christian

history. He has produced exemplary work on

St Patrick, and has published landmark books

on Gildas, the Welsh Christian writer and on

Adomnán, the most important Irish Church

figure of the seventh century.


Kevin Costello holds the Krembil William

Rowan Hamilton Chair in Theoretical Physics at

the Perimeter Institute, Canada. He is a leading

mathematical physicist who, aside from his

many papers, has published several books on

mathematical aspects of quantum field theory.

He received his PhD from the University of

Cambridge in 2003, won the Berwick Prize of

the London Mathematical Society in 2017, was

elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2018,

and won the American Mathematical Society’s

2020 Leonard Eisenbud Prize.

Kate Fitzgerald holds the Worcester

Foundation Chair in Biomedical Sciences at the

University of Massachusetts Medical School.

She is one of the world’s leading immunologists,

working on innate immunity and host defence

mechanisms against bacteria and viruses. She has

won numerous awards for her work, including

a MERIT award from the National Institutes

of Health in the US, and the St Patrick’s Day

Medal from Science Foundation Ireland. She is

also president of the International Cytokine

and Interferon Society.

Chris Hawkesworth is a senior research

fellow in the School of Earth Sciences at

the University of Bristol. He is among the

world’s leading geochemists and has played a

key role in transforming geochemistry from a

largely descriptive discipline in the 1960s to

the quantitative science that it is now. He is a

fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal

Society of Edinburgh.


Polite Literature and Antiquities

Niamh Brennan is Michael MacCormac

Professor of Management at University College

Dublin and the founder/academic director of the

UCD Centre for Corporate Governance. She has

published extensively on corporate governance,

finance and accounting. She is the first academic

outside the UK to receive the British Accounting

and Finance Association Distinguished Academic

Award and to be inducted into the Accounting,

Auditing and Accountability Journal Hall of Fame.

David Collings is professor of Human Resource

Management at Dublin City University Business

School. He is an influential leader and publisher

on global staffing and talent management. He was

named by HR Magazine as one of the 25 most

influential international thinkers globally in the

field of Human Resource Management in four

consecutive years, from 2014 to 2017.

Enrico Dal Lago is professor of History in the

School of History and Philosophy at NUI Galway.

He is a comparative historian who publishes on

the history of the United States and of Italy. He

specialises in the history of slavery, abolitionism,

comparative nationalisms and the American civil

war. He is the author of five monographs. His

most recent book is Civil war and agrarian unrest

(Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Paul Michael Garrett is senior lecturer in Social

Work at NUI Galway. He is a leading international

authority in the field of critical social theory, social

work and social policy. His recent highly influential

books include Welfare words (Sage, 2018) and Social

work and social theory (Policy Press, 2013). He has

authored six monographs and over one-hundred

peer reviewed articles.

Margaret Kelleher is professor of Anglo-Irish

Literature and Drama at University College

Dublin. She is an internationally renowned scholar

in Irish literature in English. She is the author

of The feminization of famine: expressions of the

inexpressible? (Duke University Press, 1997) and

The Maamtrasna murders: language, life and death

in nineteenth-century Ireland (UCD Press, 2018).

She was also co-editor of the path-breaking

two-volume Cambridge history of Irish literature

(Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Deirdre Madden is professor of Law at

University College Cork. She is an internationally

recognised expert in health law and bioethics. She

has an extensive record of research and public

service appointments and is currently deputy chair

of the board of the Health Service Executive. She

is the only Irish fellow of the Hastings Center in

the US, one of the most prestigious bioethics and

health policy institutes in the world.

Christopher Marsh is professor of Cultural

History at Queen’s University Belfast. He is one

of the world’s leading scholars of the earlymodern

period. His major works include the

pioneering and celebrated studies, The family

of love in English society, 1550–1630 (1994) and

Music and society in early modern England (2013),

both published by Cambridge University Press.

Máire Ní Annracháin is professor of Modern

Irish at University College Dublin. She is a

leading figure internationally in the areas of

Modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic literature and

culture. Her work has been groundbreaking

in its development of a theoretical framework

and literary-critical vocabulary for the study of

Gaelic languages. Her publications have brought

a transnational critical perspective to Modern

Celtic Studies.

Fintan O’Toole is respected internationally

for his writing on politics, society and the

arts. His journalism explores the systemic and

cultural roots of political issues and is informed

by his social-democratic values. The Academy

has published his Judging Shaw (2017), A history

of Ireland in 100 objects (2013) and Modern

Ireland in 100 Artworks (2016). In 2017 he was

awarded the European Press Prize and the

Orwell Prize for Journalism.

Philipp Rosemann is professor of Philosophy

at Maynooth University. He has won recognition

for his work at the intersection of the Christian

tradition and contemporary thought. His

publications include studies of Thomas Aquinas

and Peter Lombard. His most recent book,

Charred root of meaning: continuity, transgression,

and the other in Christian tradition (Eerdmans

Publishing, 2018), develops a philosophy of

religion that is at once biblical and Foucauldian.

Karen E. Till is professor of Cultural Geography

at Maynooth University. She is a leading

international figure in the interdisciplinary field

of Memory Studies. Her research focuses on

explorations of place, memory and care and also

involves collaborations with practising artists.

Her publications include The new Berlin: memory,

politics, place (University of Minnesota Press, 2005),

Mapping spectral traces (Virginia Tech, 2010) and

The textures of place: exploring humanist geographies

(University of Minnesota Press, 2001).

Ben Tonra is professor of International

Relations at the UCD School of Politics and

International Relations. His core research

interests are European foreign, security

and defence policy; Irish foreign policy; and

international relations theory. He has published

widely in these fields. He has served as chair of

the Royal Irish Academy’s Standing Committee on

International Affairs and has led major EU funded

Horizon 2020 projects.


Pavel Baranov is professor of Biomolecular

Informatics at University College Cork. He is

best known for his discoveries relating to the

natural diversity of genetic decoding, and for

the development of computational resources

for high-throughput data analysis of gene

expression and protein synthesis.

Steven Bell is professor of Physical Chemistry

and head of the School of Chemistry and

Chemical Engineering in Queen’s University

Belfast. He has made world-leading innovations

in Raman spectroscopy. This has directly led to

applications in forensic and materials science in

areas such as DNA analysis, bacteria detection,

foodstuff quality and illegal drug monitoring.

Marie Thérèse Cowan is director of the

Geological Survey of Northern Ireland. Amongst

her achievements is cross-border collaboration

with the Geological Survey of Ireland on

the multi award-winning Tellus geoscience

programmes, to benefit the island’s economy

and research ecosystem. She masterminded

a multi-lingual communications campaign for

OneGeology, a flagship project for UNESCO’s

International Year of Planet Earth, which reached

a global audience of 107 million. In addition, she

piloted the MLA-Geoscientist Pairing Scheme in

Northern Ireland and introduced the Scientist

and Oireachtas Member Pairing Scheme in

Ireland to enrich evidence-based policymaking.

J.C. Seamus Davis is professor of Quantum

Physics at University College Cork. He is a

pioneer in the study of quantum phenomena

in atomic and condensed matter, an area that

is rapidly leading to quantum information

theory. He is a fellow of the American Physical

Society, member of the US National Academy

of Sciences and recipient of the 2016 Science

Foundation Ireland St Patrick’s Day Science


Chris Elliott is professor of Food Safety at

Queen’s University Belfast. He leads the use of

analytical methods to inform food authenticity,

integrity and safety, and to prevent food fraud

globally. He founded the Institute for Global

Food Security; developed the ‘Food Fortress’

concept; led an independent government review

of the UK food supply system; and was awarded

an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 2017.

Robert J. Forster is director of the

National Centre for Sensor Research and

holds a personal chair in Physical Chemistry

at Dublin City University. He has made

pioneering contributions in the areas of

ultrafast electrochemistry for molecular

electronics, multimodal live-cell microscopy and

ultrasensitive sensors for disease biomarkers.

He has played a leading role in the delivery of

strategic national research programmes.

Cecily Kelleher, principal of the College of

Health and Agricultural Sciences at University

College Dublin, is one of Ireland’s most eminent

and influential public health researchers.

She has delivered breakthroughs in public

health research and practice in areas such

as cardiovascular disease, childhood obesity,

traveller health, and the effects of smoking. She

has also made significant contributions to the

development of national public health policy.

Frank McDermott, of the School of Earth

Sciences in University College Dublin, is a

leader internationally in the discipline of

geochemistry. He has produced a large body

of high-impact science with a particular focus

on paleoanthropology and palaeoclimatology,

delivering important insights into earthsystem

challenges such as climate change and

sustainability. He has also held key leadership

positions in the national and international

organisation of research in the geosciences.

Nabeel Riza is chair professor of Electrical

and Electronic Engineering at University College

Cork. He is internationally recognised for his

contributions to research and education in

photonics, particularly in fibre- and electrooptics.

He invented a new imaging device, the

CAOS camera, for which he received, in 2019,

the Edwin H. Land Medal, awarded jointly

by the International Optical Society and the

International Society for Imaging Science and


Afshin Samali is professor of Cancer Biology

and director of the Apoptosis Research Centre

at NUI Galway, and an international leader in

the field of endoplasmic reticulum stress and

cell death signalling in cancer. He has received

multiple prestigious funding awards and the

NUI Galway President’s Award for Research

Excellence; he was elected to the European Cell

Death Organisation Academy; and has founded

three biotechnology companies.

Miles Turner is professor of Plasma Physics

in the School of Physical Sciences at Dublin

City University. He is regarded as one of the

leading low-temperature plasma physicists of his

generation. Since the early 1990s, he has made

a series of technical and academic contributions

that are widely recognised as seminal. He was

director of the SFI Strategic Cluster on Plasma

Technology from 2008 to 2014.

The Roll Book of Members

Leabhar Rolla na mBall

Signatures of the founder and early Academy Members, to 1801, are

contained in five scrolls (RIA MS 23 N 36/1–5). A Members’ Roll Book

was begun in 1802. This is still in use and contains almost all Members’


The first pages of the Book consist of a handwritten copy of the Royal

Charter given to the Academy by George III, the original of which was

signed by him at the Court of St James’s on 28 September 1785. The first

meeting of the new Irish Academy took place on 18 April 1785 at the

residence of Lord Charlemont, the founding President, on Rutland (Parnell)

Square, which is now the Dublin City Hugh Lane Gallery. The Royal Charter

grants the Academy the right to make its own Statutes and By-laws.

The Roll Book also has the original Obligation to which Members

subscribed in 1785, the first paragraph of which is still in use today. The

second paragraph, in which each Member promised that he, his heirs and

executors would pay to the Treasurer of the Academy the sum of two

pounds five shillings and six pence every year, was eliminated in 1873.

The Roll Book also contains a note signed by Albert, Prince of Wales, on 21

April 1868 when he visited Academy House as an Honorary Member, to

view the Academy’s museum in the company of Oscar Wilde’s father, William

Wilde, also a Member of this Academy.

The original founding Members of the Academy numbered 88, and they are

all listed in the Charter. Today, the Roll Book holds the names of over 2,500

Members, 589 of whom are living. The first women Members were elected

in 1949.

Some famous Academy Members

Roinnt Bhaill cháiliúla

Sir William Rowan Hamilton (1827)

George Petrie (1828)

Caroline Herschel (1838)

Sir Robert Kane (1831)

Robert Mallet (1832)

Sir William Wilde (1839)

Maria Edgeworth (1842)

Henry Grattan (1857)

Sir Robert Ball (1870)

Robert Lloyd Praeger (1891)

W.B. Yeats (1924)

Erwin Schrodinger (1931)

E.T.S. Walton (1935)

Sheila Tinney (1949)

Phyllis Clinch (1949)

Eleanor Knott (1949)

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1951)

Seamus Heaney (1996)

Cathleen Synge Morawetz (2000)

Eavan Boland (2018)

All the Presidents of the Irish state, from W.T. Cosgrave in 1927

(President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State) to

Michael D. Higgins in 2011, were elected Members of the Academy

and have also signed the Roll Book.

Get involved

Glac páirt

• Use the designation ‘MRIA’ after your name

• Suggest nominees for membership or for medal awards

• Offer to serve on an Academy Committee, Board or Working Group

• Act as a respondent at an Academy Discourse

• Submit a paper for publication in one of the Academy journals

• Make a donation to the Library or to an Academy activity

• Use the Library resource and donate your publications to the

Members’ Collections

• Support and invest in the future of our Academy by donating to the

RIA Endowment Fund

If you would like more information on any of the above, or you would

like to suggest ideas for discourses, publications, events or other

Academy activities, please contact:

Academy House and Library

Teach an Acadaimh agus an Leabharlann

The Academy’s home is Academy House, a historic building in

the centre of Dublin, which also houses a library of international

importance. Up to the mid-nineteenth century, the Academy took

responsibility for preserving archaeological finds in Ireland, which

eventually formed the Royal Irish Academy collection in the National

Museum. The Academy Members also built up a unique manuscript,

pamphlet and early printed book collection. The Academy Library

today contains over 2,000 manuscripts, including the largest corpus of

Irish language manuscripts in a single repository, the oldest surviving

Irish manuscript—the Cathach, or Psalter of St Columba—and other

important early texts. The Library also offers access and outreach

programmes and holds exhibitons and lecture series.

Research and Publication

Taighde agus Foilsitheóireacht

The Academy has a proud tradition and history. From the beginning

it has published scholarly papers and conducted research projects.

Over the years it has continued to promote advanced research

and public understanding of the relevance of research to society.

It has established relations with all of the Irish universities and

with educational institutions abroad, and it represents Ireland on

more than 30 international scholarly organisations. The Academy

publishes a continuing series of research papers since 1787 in its

journal, Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, which now appears

in three sections: Mathematical Proceedings, Biology and Environment

and Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy: Archaeology, Culture, History,

Literature. In addition, the Academy publishes Ériu (the leading journal

in Irish philology and literature), the Irish Journal of Earth Sciences and

Irish Studies in International Affairs. The Academy’s series and monographs

are frequently based on its own research projects, details of which are

given later in this booklet.

Our research projects

Ár dtionscadail thaighde

Dictionary of Irish Biography

This definitive, multi-volume reference work deals with the lives of

all deceased prominent Irish men and women. Eleven volumes of the

Dictionary have been published by Cambridge University Press to date,

volumes I to IX in 2009 and volumes X and XI in 2018, as well as

numerous online supplements.

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources

This is an integrated database and dictionary project. It is designed to

contribute to the fields of Patristic, Medieval, Celtic and Latin studies

by researching, compiling and publishing suitable scholarly works in

electronic and conventional media.

Digital Repository of Ireland

The national, trusted digital repository for Ireland’s social and cultural

data, providing long-term preservation, sustained access, and enhanced

discoverability for research data and digital collections. The DRI is

certified by the CoreTrustSeal, and it operates as a national research

centre for best practice and training in FAIR data sharing, digital

preservation, digital curation and digital exhibitions. It also serves as a

liaison to European initiatives, such as the European Commission Open

Science Unit, the EOSC, ALLEA and Europeana. DRI is headquartered

at the Royal Irish Academy, with staff also at Trinity College Dublin and

Maynooth University.

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy

This project provides a comprehensive record from archival sources

of major Irish foreign policy decisions and actions since 1919. It is an

essential public resource for the study of twentieth-century Irish history.

Foclóir Stairiúil na Gaeilge

Tá foclóir don nua-Ghaeilge, ar phrionsabail stairiúla, á ullmhú ag

foireann an tionscnaimh seo. The project staff is currently compiling a

digital corpus of Irish texts, which will form the basis of the historical

dictionary. Material will be incorporated from published works,

manuscripts, folklore and the spoken word.

Irish Historic Towns Atlas

This project aims to record and understand the topographical

development of a selection of Irish towns. Each town is published as

a printed atlas with a digital edition, and includes a series of maps,

historical plans, views and illustrations, complemented by a detailed text.

The project is part of a wider European scheme. Ancillary publications,

online resources and seminars build on atlas research and cartography.

New Survey of Clare Island

The project is publishing the results of a survey undertaken to examine

the changes evident on Clare Island, off the coast of Co. Mayo, since

the Academy’s original survey of the island was conducted in 1901–11.

Forthcoming volumes will describe the birds and zoology of this

unique place.

Member’s Declaration of Obligations

Dearbhú Oibleagáidí na mBall

We, whose names are underwritten, having been elected Members

of the Royal Irish Academy, for advancing the study of Science, Polite

Literature and Antiquities, do hereby promise, each for himself/herself,

that we will endeavour to promote the good of said Academy, and

to pursue the ends for which the same was founded; that we will be

present at the meetings of said Academy as often as we conveniently

can, especially at the annual elections, and upon extraordinary

occasions; and that we will observe the Statutes and By-Laws for the

time being of said Academy.

I ndiaidh dúinn a bheith tofa inár mbaill d’Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann,

chun staidéar ar na hEolaíochtaí, ar an Litríocht Nósmhar agus ar na

hÁrsaíochtaí a chur chun cinn, geallaimidne atá ainmnithe thíos, gach

duine againn ar ár son féin, go n-oibreoimid chun leas an Acadaimh

a chur chun cinn agus chun cloí leis na cuspóirí ar ar bunaíodh an

tAcadamh. Geallaimid go mbeimid i láthair ag cruinnithe an Acadaimh

chomh minic agus is féidir, go háirithe ag na toghcháin bhliantúla agus

ar ócáidí speisialta; agus go gcloífimid le Reachtanna agus le Fodhlíthe

reatha an Acadaimh.

Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin, D02 HH58. Tel: +353 1 676 2570

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