Memorandum submitted by the Royal Irish
1. Election to membership of the Academy
is a mark of high academic distinction. The Royal Irish Academy
draws its membership from the whole island of Ireland. Forty-
nine of the 309 members, 28 of whom are scientists or technologists
(see Annex I), are currently based in Northern Ireland. The Treasurer
and one of the four Vice-Presidents work in Northern Ireland.
Five of the 12 new members elected in 2002 work in universities
in Northern Ireland.
2. The Academy seeks to promote advanced
research and public understanding of it. To this end it works
through a network of National Committees and Commissions (which
automatically include NI representativessee Annex II) to
promote specialist activities in many areas of science and technology.
A range of awards and commemorative prizes has been instituted
to motivate talented young scientists to fulfil their potential.
We have also initiated a new series of lectures to be delivered
by leading international scholars. Northern Ireland is well represented
among the award recipients and conference participants.
3. The Academy supports scientific research
through its publications, its special research projects and its
academic exchanges with other European academies and research
institutions. The Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy focus
mainly on the sciences. They are divided into three distinct periodicals:
Section AMathematical Proceedings, Section BBiology
and Environment and Section CArchaeology and History. The
Academy also publishes the Irish Journal of Earth Sciences. Monographs
such as Irish Innovators in Science and Technology (2002) are
aimed at the general public. Special research projects include
The Genetic Anthropology of Ireland; one of its four pilot studies
is based at Queen's University Belfast. The Academy's many biological
and environmental studies inevitably concern the entire island
of Ireland. Finally, many of the scientific exchange schemes and
fellowships are available and regularly awarded to scientists
or technologists working in Northern Ireland.
4. The Academy's main source of income is
an annual grant of
2.7 million from the Higher Education Authority in
the Republic of Ireland. No contribution is made from the equivalent
NI body. The Academy employs 40 permanent and 25 contract staff.
5. The Royal Irish Academy has just completed
a Strategic Reviewa careful evaluation of its statutes,
procedures and activities aimed at ensuring that it can pursue
its responsibilities in a manner appropriate to the third century
of its existence. It is particularly concerned to include in its
membership the most talented and productive scholars, irrespective
of research area, age, gender or geographical origin. Following
extensive consultation with members and with sister academies,
it has reaffirmed its mission as, inter alia:
promoting scholarship and research;
contributing to public policy on
contributing to public debate on
issues of concern in science;
enhancing public awareness of the
value and relevance of advanced scientific research;
conducting its own research projects,
especially in areas relating to Ireland and its heritage.
6. The Academy has a valuable role as a
major independent instrument for clarifying significant issues
facing Irish society, north and south.
7. The Royal Irish Academy is unquestionably
relevant to this Inquiry, even though no UK government funding
is currently devoted to its support.
As the only Academy for the Sciences and Humanities
based in Ireland and operating throughout the island, it is appropriate
that the Royal Irish Academy should be funded by governments in
both jurisdictions. The Academy wishes to enhance its role in
Northern Ireland and to be of greater service to the Northern
Ireland Executive and Northern Ireland society. However, its effectiveness
in this respect is likely to be limited by resource considerations.
We would like to draw this fact to the attention of the House
of Commons Inquiry, whose members may wish to consider whether
and at what level they would wish to see the work of this learned
society supported within Northern Ireland.
Professor Ingrid AllenNeuropathologist
Professor Michael BailliePalaeoecologist
Professor Brian BatesAstrophysicist
Professor Kenneth LloydPhysicist
Professor Ronald BuchananGeographer
Professor Philip BurkePhysicist
Professor Duncan Thorburn BurnsAnalytical
Sir Bernard CrosslandMechanical Engineer
Professor Derrick CrothersPhysicist
Professor Amilra de SilvaChemist
Professor James FairleyZoologist
Sir Peter FroggattGeneticist
Professor Henry GilbodyPhysicist
Professor David HaltonParasitologist
Professor Alan HibbertMathematician
Professor W. IrwinComputer Scientist
Professor Arthur KingstonPhysicist
Professor John McCannyElectronic Engineer
Professor Gerry McKennaGeneticist
Professor Michael McKerveyChemist
Professor Benjamin MoiseiwitschMathematician
Professor Jane NelsonChemist
Professor Bertus RimaMolecular Biology
Professor John RooneyChemist
Professor F.J. SmithComputer Scientist
Professor James StewartElectrical Engineer
Professor Sean StrainNutritional Scientist
Professor David WalmsleyPhysicist
Mr Richard WarnerEthnographer
Professor William WattsChemist
Dr R. Bishop (UU) is Chairman of the National
Commission for Microbiology.
Dr C. Thomas (UU) is Chairman of the National
Committee for Geography.
Professor F.J. Smith, MRIA (QUB) is Chairman
of the National Committee for Engineering Sciences.
Dr Alun Evans (QUB) is Secretary of the Advisory
Committee on Genetic Anthropology.
Professor K. Houston (UU) is Chairman of the
National Sub-Commission for Mathematical Instruction.
Professor J.A.C. Stewart MRIA (QUB) is Chairman
of URSI Subcommittee (International Union of Radio Science).
Dr M. Keane (St Mary's College, Belfast) is
chairperson of the National Commission for the Teaching of Geography.
Professor M.E. Bailey (Armagh Observatory) and
Dr A. Fitzsimons (QUB) are members of the National Committee for
Astronomy and Space Research.
Professor R.J.H. Davies (QUB) Professor B. Hannigan
(UU) and Dr D. Hanna (Industrial Research and Technology Unit)
are members of the National Committee for Biochemistry.
Dr R.N. Govier (QUB) and Dr T.E. Andrew (UU)
are members of the National Committee for Biology
Mr G. Hughes (UU), Dr A. Cook (UU) are members
of the National Commission for the Teaching of Biology.
Mr John Quinn (QUB) and Dr A. McHale (UU) are
members of the National Commission for Microbiology.
Dr H. Platt (Environment and Heritage Service),
Professor R.B. Wood and Professor A. Ferguson (QUB) are members
of the National Commission for Hydrobiology.
Dr J.F. Malone (QUB) is a member of the National
Committee for Chemistry.
Professor B. Norton (UU) and Professor J.A.C.
Stewart (QUB) are members of the National Committee for Engineering
Dr Noel Evans (UU), Professor V. Fusco (QUB),
Mr A.D. Patterson are members of URSI.
Mr Donald Campbell (Met Office NI), Dr J. McCloskey
(UU) and Mr J.R.P. Bennett (Lisburn) are members of the National
Committee for Geodesy and Geophysics.
Professor D.N.Livingstone (QUB) and Mr R. Clements
(Ordnance Survey NI) are members of the National Committee for
Mr A. Rodgers (Royal College, Armagh), Ms A.M.
Duffy (Belfast), Mr R. O'Neill (Bessbrook), Mr G. Kelly (Belfast),
Mrs P. Wyness (Hunterhouse College) and Ms Marianne Lawlor (Downpatrick)
are members of the National Commission for the Teaching of Geography.
Dr A. Ruffell (QUB), Mr J.W. Arthurs (Geological
Survey of NI) and Dr P. Lyle (UU) are members of the National
Committee for Geology.
Professor A.W. Wickstead and Professor S.K.
Houston are members of the National Committee for Maths and the
National Commission for Mathematical Instruction.
Professor J. Pearce (QUB) and Dr B. Livingstone
(UU) are members of the National Committee for Nutritional Sciences.
Professor J. McMullan (UU) and Professor D.G.
Walmsley (QUB) are members of the National Committee for Physics.
Mr Ian Headden (Ballymena Academy) and Dr Jason
Greenwood (QUB) are members of the National Commission for the
Teaching of Physics.
Professor I. Mongomery (QUB) is one of the two
editors of the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Section
B: Biology and Environment.
Dr C. Gibson of the Department of Agriculture
and Rural Development (NI) and Dr C. Maggs of the Queen's University
of Belfast are members of the editorial board of Section B.
Professor D.H. Armitage is a member of the Editorial
Board of the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Section A:
Dr A. Ruffell of the Queen's University of Belfast
is a member of the Editorial Board of the Irish Journal of Earth