Two NUI Galway Academics Elected as New Members of the Royal Irish Academy

Professor Nicholas Canny, former President of RIA and Emeritus Professor, NUI Galway with Professor Noel Lowndes and Professor Paul Crowther, NUI Galway, at the new Members Admittance Ceremony at the Royal Irish Academy on 26 May 2017. Photo: Royal Irish Academy
May 31 2017 Posted: 08:54 IST

Professor Noel Lowndes from the Centre of Chromosome Biology and Biochemistry and Professor Paul Crowther, Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus) at NUI Galway, have received the honour of being elected as a Members of the Royal Irish Academy during a special admittance ceremony at Academy House in Dublin last Friday (26 May 2017).

The Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities, admitted 18 new Members that included the two NUI Galway Professors. Since 1785 membership of the Academy has been awarded to persons who have attained distinction by their unique contributions to education and research. Professor Noel Lowndes and Professor Paul Crowther were elected as Members due to their outstanding contribution to Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences.

Professor Lowndes studies the mechanisms of genome stability that prevent cancer and has published widely in leading journals. As founding director of the Centre for Chromosome Biology he has made a major impact on the international reputation of Biochemistry at NUI Galway and, more generally, Irish biomedical science. This impact has also been recognised by his election to the membership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

Paul Crowther is Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus) and was the Established Professor and Head of the Philosophy Discipline from 2009 to 2016 at NUI Galway. His previous posts included, Reader in Aesthetics and the History of Art at Oxford University. He is internationally acclaimed for his publications in the area of aesthetics and he specialises in philosophy of the visual arts. He has published 13 highly regarded monographs. His latest book What Drawing and Painting Really Mean: The Phenomenology of Image and Gesture has just been published by Routledge.

There are now 580 Members of the Royal Irish Academy (of whom 85 are Honorary or overseas Members) that include;  John Joseph Lee, historian; Philip Lane, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland; Susan Denham, Chief Justice of Ireland; Mary Kelly, chairperson of An Bord Pleanála; and Roy Foster, historian and biographer of WB Yeats.    

Congratulating both Professors on this honour, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “Research and academic excellence are the cornerstones of all that we do here at NUI Galway. I am very proud to see the work of Professor Lowndes and Professor Crowther recognised by the Royal Irish Academy. Admission to the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland and it is a testament to the calibre of our staff and research to see two colleagues honoured in this way.”

The Royal Irish Academy was founded by Charter in 1785 for the advancement of learning and scholarship in Ireland. The Academy champion’s Irish academic research and one of its principal roles is to identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. It supports excellent scholarship and promotes awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society.


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