Philip Nolan among newly elected intake of Royal Irish Academy

Prominent Nphet official among 27 new members elected to academic body

Professor Philip Nolan, who has become a well known-public figure during the coronavirus pandemic, was among 27 new members elected to the Royal Irish Academy (RIA).

The academic body, set up to promote science and the humanities, announced the new intake of members during a virtual ceremony on Friday.

Prof Nolan is chairman of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) epidemiological modelling advisory group, and the outgoing president of NUI Maynooth.

Dr Mary Canning, RIA president, said the newly elected members had been recognised "for their scholarly achievements, typically reflecting many years of research, or for significant contributions to Irish society".

“They bring international academic distinction to our country and we should be immensely proud of these remarkable women and men,” she said.

There are 637 members in the RIA, including former president Mary Robinson, former chief justice Susan Denham, Philip Lane of the European Central Bank and historian Mary Daly. WB Yeats and Seamus Heaney are among past members of the body.

Expert forum

The RIA brings together senior academics and figures from government and industry to address issues of mutual interest. An all-island forum of experts, it aims to recognise world-class researchers and champion Irish academic research.

Recently, the prestigious academic body commissioned a diversity review in an attempt to increase female participation. At present only 121 of its 637 members are women. Of the new intake, six of the 27 elected members were women.

Among those elected this week were Lorraine O’Driscoll, a leading figure in cancer research, Gerard Hogan, advocate general at the European Court of Justice and Rory Montgomery, a diplomat who was involved in the Belfast Agreement talks.

Academics accepted into the RIA included Brian O’Connor, professor of philosophy at University College Dublin, Deirdre Curtin, professor of European Union law, and Ed Lavelle, professor of immunology at Trinity College Dublin.

The full list of the 27 new members of the RIA is as follows: Francis Peter Barry (NUIG); Frank Barry (TCD); Ruth Barton (TCD); Joseph Bergin (Manchester University); John Brannigan (UCD); Janice Carruthers (QUB); John Crown (St Vincent’s, DCU, UCD); Deirdre Curtin (European University Institute); Philip Dine (NUIG); John Feehan (UCD); Gerard W Hogan (Court of Justice of the European Union); Derek Jackson (UU); Pierre Joannon (Independent scholar); Joseph Keane (TCD); Ed Lavelle (TCD); Anne Magurran (University of St Andrews); N Gerard McElvaney (RCSI); Rory Montgomery (QUB, TCD); Michael Anthony Morris (TCD); Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail (UCD); Philip Nolan (NUIM); Bashar Nuseibeh (UL); Brian O’Connor (UCD); Lorraine O’Driscoll (TCD); Richard Schoch (QUB); Patrick Sims-Williams (Aberystwyth University); Desmond Tobin (UCD).

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times