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Royal Irish Academy: Emeritus Professor Brigid Laffan named 2024 Gold Medal recipient

Posted 21 November 2023

Emeritus Professor Brigid Laffan has been named as one of the 2024 (opens in a new window)Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals recipients.

She will receive the coveted honour - considered Ireland’s highest scholarly accolade – for her work in the Social Sciences, and will be presented with her Gold Medal in a special ceremony in this spring alongside fellow recipient Professor Máire O'Neill.

The medals acclaim Ireland’s foremost thinkers in the humanities, social sciences, physical and mathematical sciences, life sciences, engineering sciences and the environment and geosciences.

Widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading experts on European Integration and a major contributor to the conversation about how the European project affects Ireland’s foreign policy, Professor Laffan is an Emeritus Professor at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, and University College Dublin.

She was recently unanimously approved as Chancellor and Chair of the Governing Authority of University of Limerick.

A distinguished academic and political scientist, Professor Laffan was appointed as Jean Monnet Professor of European Politics at UCD in 1991 – later founding the Dublin European Institute at the University is 1999.

In recognition of her service and achievements in the field of European Affairs, she was received as an Officer of the French National Order of Merit in 2010.

A former director and professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the EUI, until her retirement in August 2021, Professor Laffan was previously the Professor of European Politics at the UCD School of Politics and International Relations, and a Vice-President of UCD and Principal of the College of Human Sciences from 2004 to 2011.

Having authored, co-authored and edited 10 books, published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and more than 60 book chapters, she has received numerous awards, including the THESEUS Award for outstanding research on European Integration; the UK University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the US European Studies Association (EUSA).

The RIA award two every year to individuals demonstrable and internationally recognised as having displayed outstanding scholarly contributions in their fields.

In 2019 UCD Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty was the first woman to be presented with the RIA Gold Medal.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

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