Annual Whitaker Institute Research Day at NUI Galway

Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway.
Apr 03 2017 Posted: 11:46 IST

Research Day will discuss topics ranging from the challenges presented by the current populist backlash against government policy and political systems election of leaders, environmental sustainability, transport, and higher education policies

The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change will hold its annual Research Day on Thursday, 6 April in the Alice Perry Engineering Building at NUI Galway.

The institute is named after the late Dr T.K. Whitaker who is widely recognised for setting Ireland’s economy on a path of internationalisation and modernisation. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr Whitaker demonstrated and implemented innovative ideas and approaches to challenges and issues facing our economy and society.

The Whitaker Institute has adopted a similarly innovative, multidisciplinary and transformative approach in its research on challenges facing business and society in Ireland today and internationally. The Whitaker Institute’s Research Day will encompass research under each of the three thematic areas of the Institue: Sustainable and Inclusive Societies, Public Sector Innovation and Reform, and Business, Innovation and Economic Development.  Focusing on these main themes, the Research Day is an opportunity for those interested in research to meet and discuss how the broad and diverse research of the Institute, on a range of social and economic issues, can promote a more sustainable and inclusive society.

Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute, said: “The Whitaker Institute Research Day will discuss a broad range of topics including the election of leaders, transport, environmental sustainability, wellbeing, creative entrepreneurship, mediation, higher education policies, domestic violence, and the role of robots in care. We honour the legacy of T. K. Whitaker’s work and we consider how the issues he raised can still inform our research and policy making today. The research day will foster discussion of those key ideas that have an impact on today’s society, in terms of sustainability, inclusivity, innovation, and reform.”

The Research Day will involve a series of talks in the University’s Alice Perry Engineering Building, and a poster display of on-going Institute research in the building’s foyer. The day will be divided up into five main sessions. The first session will encompass presentations under the Sustainable and Inclusive Societies theme, focusing on the topic ‘A Sense of Place’.  The second session, under the Public Sector Innovation and Reform theme, will focus on the topic ‘Addressing the Backlash’. Speakers in this session will explore the question, ‘How might research adapt to address the challenges presented by the current populist backlash against government policy and political systems?’

“We are particularly pleased to welcome Professor Liam Delaney, AIB Chair of Behavioural Economics at UCD, who will deliver the keynote speech Back to Hume: Economics, the Behavioural Sciences, and Public Policy”, added Professor Ahearne.

Professor Delaney’s session will lead into the third set of presentations under the Business, Innovation and Economic Development theme on the topic of ‘Understanding Behaviour’. Finally, a second set of presentations under the Sustainable and Inclusive Societies theme will address issues related to ‘Place and Inclusivity.’

Register online, and download the full agenda at:


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