Nation's gold standard of academia honoured
A BIOCHEMIST and a professor of philosophy have been named as this year's recipients of the Royal Irish Academy's annual Gold Medals – the premier award for Ireland's academic community.
Luke O'Neill, Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and Dermot Moran, Professor of Philosophy (Metaphysics and Logic) at University College Dublin (UCD), were honoured.
Ireland's EU Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn described the medals, which are sponsored by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Independent, as the equivalent of Ireland's Nobel prize.
She said both awards were "hard-earned" and that those tasked with picking the recipients had a difficult choice as there was a "rich pool of deserving candidates".
Prof O'Neill, who is recognised as a world leader in the fields of immunology and inflammatory diseases, for which he has won numerous awards, was awarded the medal in the Life Sciences category.
Prof Moran, who first received international acclaim for his pioneering work on the 9th-century Irish philosopher John Scottus Eriugena and who continues to make ground-breaking contributions on his field, was awarded the Humanities medal.