NUI Galway Academics elected members of Royal Irish Academy

May 28 2007 Posted: 00:00 IST

Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway and Professor Michael T. Kane, former Head of Physiology at NUI Galway have recently been elected to the Royal Irish Academy.

The Royal Irish Academy is an all-Ireland, independent, academic body that promotes study and excellence in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Election to membership of the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Professor William Schabas is one of the world's authorities on the crime of genocide, the abolition of the death penalty and the international criminal justice institutions. He served as one of three international members of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour. Prof. Schabas was recently awarded the Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law for his book, The UN International Criminal Tribunals: the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

"The study of international human rights law is a relatively new field," said Prof. Schabas.

"Election to the Royal Irish Academy for work in the field, on such issues as the abolition of capital punishment and the prohibition of genocide, confirms its importance as an academic discipline."

Professor Michael T. Kane is a leading academic in the field of reproductive science. Educated at UCD, and Cornell University, Prof. Kane taught at NUI Galway for over 30 years until his retirement in September 2006.

Prof. Kane's research has concentrated on two main areas; investigation of factors affecting growth and development in pre-implantation mammalian embryos and mouse embryo stem cells; and the control of ovarian follicular growth. The significance of his work has become progressively more appreciated with the development world wide of in vitro fertilization.

The Royal Irish Academy is the principal learned society in Ireland and currently has 385 Members from across the island, elected in recognition of their academic achievement. Those elected are entitled to use the designation MRIA (Member of the Royal Irish Academy) after their name.

Other well-known members of the Academy include: NUI Chancellor Dr Garret FitzGerald; Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney; Mr Peter Sutherland; Former UN Human Rights Commissioner Mrs Mary Robinson, and President Mary McAleese.

Mary Robinson, who is one of the few lawyers to be a member of the Academy, was one of the signatories on Prof Schabas' nomination papers.



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