Royal Irish Academy Honours Trinity Academics with Membership

27 May 2016

Two Trinity academics were among 22 newly elected members of the Royal Irish Academy who signed the members book on Friday 27th May in recognition of their world-class contribution to science and the humanities. The new Trinity members are Professor Michael Marsh and Professor Stefano Sanvito.

New Royal Irish Academy (RIA) members Professor Michael Marsh and Professor Stefano Sanvito with RIA President, Professor Mary E Daly

Michael Marsh is Professor and Fellow Emeritus at the Department of Political Science. He was Principal Investigator in the first ever Irish election study and lead author of the book based on the project.

Stefano Sanvito is Professor of Condensed Matter Theory and the Director of the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN). His work has contributed significantly to opening up the promising field of molecular spintronics.

Also among the newly elected members of the Royal Irish Academy is Professor Timothy Williamson, currently Wykeham Professor of Logic at the University of Oxford, he lectured in Philosophy at Trinity from 1980 to 1988.

Election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy which has occurred annually since 1785 is the highest academic honour in Ireland. Those elected are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name. There are now 497 member of the academy, in disciplines from the Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Speaking at the annual admittance day ceremony for new members, President of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Mary E. Day, called on the new Minister for Education and Skills to introduce an Action Plan for Higher Education. Professor Daly said, “The steady erosion of funding per student and the failure to invest in infrastructure has brought higher education to a crisis point requiring such an emergency action plan. No system can sustain a 38% decline in state grants and at the same time absorb a 25% increase in student numbers. Ireland and Iceland are the only two countries in the OECD where real expenditure on higher education per student dropped since the 2008 crash. Ireland cannot afford to be such an outlier in higher education. The sector needs a cross-government initiative, setting out clear actions and targets, which mobilises all the relevant government departments.”

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