Royal Irish Academy Honours Top NUI Galway Academics
Friday, 28 May 2010
The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) elected two of NUI Galway's top academics for admission today (Friday, 28 May 2010) in recognition of their academic achievement. This is the Academy's 225th admission of new Members since it was founded in 1785. Dr Sinisa Malesevic and Professor Stefan Decker were among only 24 academics on the island of Ireland to achieve this highest academic distinction. Professor Nicholas Canny, President of the RIA, and Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway said that this group 'is as accomplished and as academically diverse as any cohort elected since our founding members signed the roll in 1785'. He also said that the promotion of research within universities must be related to, and integrated with, their teaching mission. Professor Canny went on to note that if government funding to support research is predicated to occur only where this funding can 'be seen to promote innovation, enterprise and immediate job creation, it would be better [to enforce such a model] in stand-alone research institutes rather than through cross-subsidisation from the teaching mission of higher-research institutions'. Professor Stefan Decker is Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway, the largest and one of the most visible institutes dedicated to Web Science. He was an early pioneer of the Semantic Web. As a leading expert in web technologies, Professor Decker is one of the most widely known web scientists. Decker's dissertation work was quoted as one of the inspirations for the DARPA DAML program, which span the Semantic Web effort. His current research interests include semantics in collaborative systems and Web 2.0, Linked Data and distributed systems. He has published over 150 papers in journals and conferences. Dr Sinisa Malesevic is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. His research interests include the comparative-historical and theoretical study of ethnicity and nationalism, ideology, war, violence and sociological theory. He is author and editor of 9 books including highly influential monographs The Sociology of Ethnicity (2004), Identity as Ideology (2006) and The Sociology of War and Violence (2010). Dr Malesevic has also authored over 50 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. His work has been translated into several languages. Previously he was a research fellow in the Institute for International Relations (Zagreb) and the Centre for the Study of Nationalism (Prague). He also held visiting research fellowships in the Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna) and the London School of Economics. The Royal Irish Academy is Ireland's premier learned body and vigorously promotes excellence in scholarship, recognises achievements in learning, direct research programmes and undertakes its own research projects, particularly in areas relating to Ireland and its heritage. The Academy now has 441 Members across the disciplines of the sciences, humanities and social sciences and in its entire history only 2,833 people have been Members. Competition for election to membership is keen as it is the premiere academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of the highest academic achievement. Those elected are entitled to use the designation 'MRIA' after their name.