Time for a Department of Higher Education and Research: COVID-19 makes it clear we need a voice for science at Cabinet

Posted in Research on May 25th, 2020 by steve

IrelandAn Open Letter to the Members of Dáil Éireann. Five years ago over 1,000 Irish scientists wrote to government urging a rebalancing of funding toward basic research. Basic discovery research is exactly the type that produces the scientists, skills and serendipitous solutions we need when faced with an unexpected challenge like COVID-19. Half a decade on from that letter little has changed for the better …” (more)

[IrishScientists.org, 25 May]

Tags: ,

Ireland lagging behind in funding ‘blue skies’ scientific research

Posted in Research on January 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Government is increasingly under fire for how the nation lags its European counterparts in funding basic, ‘blue skies’ research, the kind in which real world applications are not immediately clear. During Science Week 2019, Fianna Fáil’s science spokesman James Lawless, stated it was ‘over-concentrating resources around applied-commercial research at the expense of basic/discovery research’ …” (more)

[Conor Purcell, Irish Times, 2 January]

Tags: , , , , , ,

Govt Short-Sightedness Causing Crisis in Research and Development

Posted in Research on September 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Science, Technology, Research and Development, James Lawless, has said the short-sighted approach taken by Fine Gael in only funding research with expedient commercial outputs has greatly hampered the research and development ecosystem in Ireland …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 15 September]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

IUA welcomes Government announcement of €12m IRC investment in curiosity driven basic research

Posted in Research on April 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Universities Association (IUA) welcomes the announcement today by Ministers Joe McHugh and John Halligan of €12 million investment by the Irish Research Council in ground-breaking, basic research projects. Twelve researchers will each receive a maximum of €1 million funding under the Irish Research Council’s Advanced Laureate Awards to conduct leading-edge research over four years …” (more)

[IUA, 11 April]

Tags: , , , , ,

A Hint of Blue Skies for Irish Science?

Posted in Research on February 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“I was quite excited the other day when I got an email notifying me that Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has announced a new funding programme called Frontiers for the Future. What particularly caught my attention are the so-called Frontiers for the Future Projects …” (more)

[In the Dark, 9 February]

Tags: ,

Funding Basic Research in Ireland

Posted in Research on May 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I received an email the other day about a scheme run by Science Foundation Ireland. Among other things, the Technology Innovation Development Award is intended (among other things) ‘… enables researchers to demonstrate the technical feasibility of an applied research project directed toward the development of a new or innovative technology, product, process or service that has potential for further commercial development’. The thrust of this scheme is pretty typical of funding calls in Ireland, and it spurred me to go on a mini-rant …” (more)

[In The Dark, 15 May]

Tags: , ,

Funding priorities of Science Foundation Ireland need re-balancing

Posted in Research on February 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), which receives the largest proportion of Irish research funding from the Government, needs to be reconfigured to ensure its supports basic third-level research more, according to Fianna Fáil spokesman on science James Lawless …” (more)

[Kevin O’Sullivan, Irish Times, 11 February]

Tags: , , ,

Funding science and engineering

Posted in Research on August 31st, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The critical responses to my letter (August 6th) by Garret FitzGerald and Cormac O’Raifeartaigh (August 8th) and David McConnell (August 11th) on the topic of the Government’s funding of science and of engineering appeared to be more concerned with the promotion of basic research rather than the refutation of the various points in my argument …” (more)

[John Kelly, Irish Times, 31 August]

Tags: , ,

Funding science and engineering

Posted in Research on August 11th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Prof John Kelly, a former senior member of the UCD faculty of engineering, wrote (August 6th) that the Government should emphasise research in applied science more than basic science …” (more)

[David McConnell, Irish Times, 11 August]

Tags: , , ,

Funding science and engineering

Posted in Research on August 8th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Further to recent correspondence (August 6th and 7th), there is no question that basic research can lead to all sorts of applications. Likewise, the process of solving real-world problems, as both engineers and scientists do, can stimulate research in new areas of basic science …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 8 August]

Tags: ,

Science and engineering

Posted in Governance and administration on August 7th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – What a depressingly outdated concept of the balance between science and engineering presented in the letter by Prof John Kelly (August 6th). Throughout the leading academic centres in the US, science and engineering are interwoven, particularly in the pursuit of advances relevant to human health …” (more)

[Letters from Garret FitzGerald and Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, Irish Times, 7 August]

Tags: , , , , ,

Science, research and the economy

Posted in Research on August 6th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Dick Ahlstrom, in his interview (‘Minister knows importance of research goes beyond economy’, August 4th) with the Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English, asks if there is too strong an emphasis on applied research in favour of basic research …” (more)

[John Kelly, Irish Times, 6 August]

Tags: , , , , ,

Irish scientist criticises State’s lack of support for basic research

Posted in Research on August 5th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Irish astronomer involved in identifying the most powerful aurora recorded around a failed star outside the solar system has criticised the Government’s lack of support for basic scientific research …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 5 August]

Tags: , , ,

Minister knows importance of research goes beyond economic benefits

Posted in Research on August 4th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Does Ireland have a future conducting research and making important world-class discoveries? The answer will depend on success in devising a strategy for building an international reputation for research …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 4 August]

Tags: , , ,

Ibec pushing for more visionary science policy

Posted in Research on May 4th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Ibec wants to see more scientific research and wants the Government to spend lots more in support of it. Astrologers always believe that big things will happen when planets align. If Mars, Jupiter and Saturn line up surely that must be a sign that change is coming or the end is nigh …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 4 May]

Tags: , , , ,

Research Funding – Definition of ‘Basic Research’

Posted in Research on May 1st, 2015 by steve

IrelandDeputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the definition of basic research used by his Department in deciding allocations to different types of research …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann Written Answers, 30 April]

Tags: , , , , ,

Ireland’s narrow research focus on commercial technology is short-sighted

Posted in Research on April 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Research funding remains almost exclusively targeted at certain technological areas that are considered important. A recent letter to The Irish Times, signed by more than 1,100 scientists, noted that funding for scientific research in Ireland has become increasingly focused on the commercialisation of technological applications …” (more)

[Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, Irish Times, 30 April]

Tags: , , ,

Scientific Research

Posted in Research on April 23rd, 2015 by steve

IrelandDeputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if she will seek to rebalance the funding of science research such that the Government’s preference for funding oriented basic research, applied research and over-basic research in view of the fact that this preference has led to steadily decreasing numbers of research staff in Irish universities …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann Written Answers, 21 April]

Tags: , , ,

Ibec says Government should increase science research funding

Posted in Research on April 23rd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Government should establish a fully independent advisory body for science and should also increase State funding for research, Ibec has said. These and other recommendations were included in a submission from the business representative body to an InterDepartmental Cabinet committee currently devising a new national science policy …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 23 April]

Tags: , , , , ,

Engineering as well as science plays critical role in universities

Posted in Research on April 18th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Irish university science academics are worried with the recent changes in the Government’s policy for funding research. In a letter to The Irish Times (March 18th) they wrote of the Government’s short-sighted drive for applied research which has a potential for industrial innovation …” (more)

[John Kelly, Irish Times, 17 April]

Tags: , , ,