Opinion

TCD surging ahead of Dublin rivals UCD rivals on basic research

UCD you’ve got a problem!

I realised the extent of UCD’s problem after I put in a request this morning to the European Research Council (ERC) for a list of Irish holders of their coveted advanced grants.

[It’s well known when you have one of these, which are awarded for excellence in fundamental science, you have arrived at the top table of European researchers].

In an email back from the ERC, they confirmed that TCD has six of these grants, and UCD has zippo. Ireland in total has eight, so it’s not just UCD that is failing, but as the biggest university in the country, with a long tradition of science and engineering, it’s UCD’s failure that stands out most.

The TCD monopoly on ERC advanced grants is  broken by a single grant holder at Maynooth University and one at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

It’s 6-nil then to TCD in this scientific ‘colours’ match.

It is remarkable however,  given the ferocious hostility to fundamental science that exists in Ireland, that anyone here got an ERC advanced grant.

So, like the heroes of 1916, let’s Proclaim Ireland’s scientific heroes here.

These are the men (there are no women) who have, somehow, manage to thrive in this scientific desert.

  • Thomas Ray, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
  • Robert Kitchin, Maynooth University
  • John Boland, TCD
  • Luke O’Neill, TCD
  • Jonathan Coleman, TCD
  • Dan Bradley, TCD
  • Paul Holm, TCD
  • Peter Humphries TCD

Categories: Opinion, Science Policy

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