Three NUI Galway Academics Elected as Members of the Royal Irish Academy

Professor Enrico Dal Lago, Dr Paul Michael Garrett and Professor Afshin Samali
May 25 2020 Posted: 09:58 IST

NUI Galway academics Professor Enrico Dal Lago, Dr Paul Michael Garrett and Professor Afshin Samali were recently elected as Members of the Royal Irish Academy for their contribution to Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Sciences. The NUI Galway academics were among 29 new members admitted to the academy by Dr Mary Canning, President of the Academy, through a special video call.

Enrico Dal Lago is Professor of History in the School of History and Philosophy at NUI Galway. He is a comparative historian who publishes on the history of the United States and of Italy. He specialises in the history of slavery, abolitionism, comparative nationalisms and the American civil war. He is the author of five monographs. His most recent book is Civil War and Agrarian Unrest.

Dr Paul Michael Garrett is senior lecturer in Social Work at NUI Galway. He is a leading international authority in the field of critical social theory, social work and social policy. His recent highly influential books include Welfare Words and Social work and Social Theory. He has authored six monographs and over one-hundred peer reviewed articles.

Afshin Samali is Professor of Cancer Biology and Director of the Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway, and an international leader in the field of endoplasmic reticulum stress and cell death signalling in cancer. He has received multiple prestigious funding awards and the NUI Galway President’s Award for Research Excellence; he was elected to the European Cell Death Organisation Academy; and has founded three biotechnology companies.

Welcoming the newly admitted members, Dr Canning said: “Ireland should be immensely proud of these women and men who have brought international acclaim to our country. As members of the Royal Irish Academy they will strengthen our capacity to provide the expert advice Ireland needs at this time’. She thanked the many Academy members who had put their expertise at the service of the people of Ireland during the current COVID-19 crisis and announced that ‘an Academy steering group has been established to develop and coordinate the activities of the various Academy committees and members and to maximise the Academy’s convening power across all humanities, social sciences and science disciplines throughout the island of Ireland.”

Congratulating Professor Dal Lago, Dr Garrett, and Professor Samali on this honour, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of colleagues at NUI Galway, I extend warmest congratulations to Enrico, Paul and Afshin on their election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy.  This recognises the excellence of their continuing contributions to their respective academic fields.  As educators, researchers and as academic leaders at NUI Galway, they demonstrate personal talent and commitment to the advancement of and the re-imagining of humanities, social sciences, and research, nationally and internationally.  I’m delighted to see their achievements so justly recognised by the Academy in this way.”

Election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy is the highest academic distinction in Ireland. There are currently 618 members of the Academy, 88 of whom are Honorary members, including Nobel laureate William C. Campbell, and Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford. Other members include Mary E. Daly, historian and commissioner with the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation; and Frances Ruane, economist and chair of the Abbey Theatre.


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