Sunday 25 August 2019

Ireland to lose world-leading cyber-crime research centre

Mary Aiken RCSI speaking about 'The CyberPsychology of CyberCrime' at the Web Summit at the RDS
Mary Aiken RCSI speaking about 'The CyberPsychology of CyberCrime' at the Web Summit at the RDS Newsdesk Newsdesk

A world-leading research centre on cyber-crime is set to close down and leave Ireland.

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) confirmed it would no longer be supporting the CyberPsychology programme run by Professor Mary Aiken, who spoke on the main stage at the Web Summit yesterday.

Prof Aiken's work has inspired the latest series of the hit US TV show CSI and was at the forefront of research into cyber-crime and online crime motivation.

RCSI said the decision was made after a "strategic review to better align itself" with its broader objectives and to increase the impact of research in areas of core expertise.

Chief executive Professor Cathal Kelly said the closure would save €25m. He added that the RCSI would assist in the transfer to a new site.

"Mary Aiken has passionately led this new emerging field and we wish her continued success in her important work for the future," he said.

Prof Aiken said the centre would find a new base outside of Ireland.

"I was very proud that our centre was based in Ireland. We're doing incredible work worldwide. We have everybody from the White House to the EU (working with us)," she said.

"I've just come back from a UN forum and it's not going to be in Ireland any more."

In her presentation on the main stage, Prof Aiken (below) warned the world was "sleepwalking its way into a new and evolving world" without understanding why people commit cyber-crime.

She also spoke of her delight the new CBS series CSI: Cyber would be based on her work. She is a writer and producer of the programme and is played by actress Patricia Arquette in the show.

Irish Independent

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