Professor Louis Cullen, professor emeritus of history at Trinity College Dublin has been presented the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the humanities. Professor Fergus Shanahan, UCC was awarded the RIA Gold Medal for his achievements in life sciences.
The Gold Medals recognise two of Ireland’s foremost contributors to the world of learning, according to the President of the RIA, Professor Mary E Daly speaking at the awards ceremony. The Minister of Education and Skills Richard Bruton highlighted the importance rewarding excellence in research and education in his key note address.
Professor Cullen’s work has focused on modern Irish economic and social history as well as pre-modern Japanese history. He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1975. He has been at the forefront of Irish historical studies for more than fifty years. His work on Franco-Irish history won him the admiration of leading French Annales historians and was rewarded in 2004 with an honorary doctorate by the Paris-Sorbonne University.
At Trinity Professor Cullen pioneered the study and teaching of Japanese history, learning Japanese and embarking on a new research career which established him as one of the leading international scholars of the Tokugawa period.
The RIA Gold Medals were established in 2005 and are supported by The Higher Education Authority.