June 2004

NUI Galway recognises the achievements of four individuals

NUI Galway recognises the achievements of four individuals-image

Friday, 25 June 2004

At a conferring ceremony in NUI Galway today (June 25th 2004), honorary degrees were conferred upon Professor Roy Foster, Lex Friedan, Philippe Kirsch and John Mannion. The individuals, who have been carefully considered and selected for conferring, have each made significant input to society either in the area of human rights or through their scholarly contribution to the area of humanities. NUI Galway is renowned for creating a research centre of excellence in both of these areas, through its Centre for Human Rights and Human Settlement and Historical Change. In recognising the accomplishments and contributions that each individual has made to society during their lifetime, The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said: "Each of these individuals in their own way, has made a significant contribution to society and to altering and enhancing the lives of many. This has been achieved through their work, views, beliefs and unfaltering commitment which has enabled them to achieve personal objectives which have been for the benefit of others. NUI Galway is a university which has long supported ideals which promote research excellence, both in the areas of Human Rights and Historical studies and for this reason, we are proud today to honour the work of all of these individuals." Judge Philippe Kirsch is the first president of the International Criminal Court. Established in 2003, the creation of the International Criminal Court is perhaps the most important new international organisation to be established since the United Nations. Philippe Kirsch directed the complex negotiations around the creation of the Rome Statute. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court provides that the Court will have initial jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Roy Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish history at Oxford University and has a highly distinguished record in historical scholarship. Originally from Waterford, he is a graduate of TCD and has published many works on Irish history including his best-selling book Modern Ireland, 1600-1972. Lex Friedan is the Chairperson of US National Disability Council and senior Vice-President at the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) at Houston, Texas. Friedan has been at the forefront of encouraging Governments across the world to become engaged in the drafting of the new United Nations treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities. So much so, his work in this area resulted in a unique civil rights law in the field of disability in the Kennedy – Johnson Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing all forms of discrimination against persons with disability. He has held six different professorships in the fields of community medicine and rehabilitation. John Mannion of St. John's Memorial University, Newfoundland, has made it his life's work to document and study all aspects of the Irish migration to Newfoundland. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and University of Toronto where he completed his doctorate. His book, Irish Settlements in Eastern Canada: A Study of Cultural Transfer and Adaptation is recognised as the principal scholarly monograph on the cultural heritage of the Irish in Newfoundland. The conferring of honorary degrees takes place today (Friday, 25th June 2004) at noon in Àras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. Ends

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Top Cancer Researchers meet in Galway

Top Cancer Researchers meet in Galway-image

Friday, 18 June 2004

An internationally prestigious scientific workshop on 'Mechanisms of Genomic Integrity', hosted by the Genome Stability Cluster, NUI Galway, will take place in Glenlo Abbey, Galway, from June 21 to June 24. "This workshop, supported by the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and Science Foundation Ireland, will bring together world leaders for the premiere international conference of the year in this field," said Professor Noel Lowndes, of NUI Galway's Genome Stability Laboratory. Genetic instability underlies numerous human diseases, most significantly cancer, as the alteration of the genome carries with it the possibility of generating proteins with the abnormal or uncontrolled functions characteristic of tumours. "This is a fast-moving field in modern biology, especially following the completion of the genome project," according to Dr Ciaran Morrison, Genome Stability Laboratory, NUI Galway. "A particular theme of the workshop is how cells deal with the DNA damage that results from sunlight, ionizing radiation or cancer causing chemicals." This is the first workshop supported by EMBO to be held in Ireland since 1995 and the first to be held in Galway. Hosting of such workshops is highly competitive and reflects the excellence of the scientific cast assembled for the event. The workshop is being organised by Professor Noel Lowndes, Dr. Ciaran Morrison, Dr. Michael Carty and Dr. Heinz-Peter Nasheuer from the Genome Stability Cluster in the Department of Biochemistry, NUI Galway, together with Dr. Tomas Lindahl, the deputy-director of Cancer Research UK and Dr. Maria Pia Longhese, of the University of Milan. Ends

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Imaging Ireland: Selected Works from NUI Galway's Art Collection

Imaging Ireland:  Selected Works from NUI Galway's Art Collection-image

Monday, 14 June 2004

A new publication of selected works from NUI Galway's art collection will be launched today (Monday), by Patrick T. Murphy Director of the Royal Hibernian Academy. "Imaging Ireland" contains fifty colour plates, selected and annotated by Sioban Piercey and Ger O'Brien and includes works by Mainie Jellett, Gerard Dillon, Grace Henry, Seamus Murphy, Charles Lamb, George Russell, Walter Osbourne, Norah McGuinness and many others. Exquisitely designed, Imaging Ireland features an introduction by Peter Murray, curator of the Crawford Municipal Gallery and a brief history of the collection by Ger O'Brien. The University's art collection is a result of bequests, donations, commissions and acquisitions over the last hundred years. Many interested parties including the Galway Art Gallery Committee, Corrib Art Society, Friends of the National Collections and The Haverty Trust, were instrumental in securing notable works. During the last three years, the University Art Collection has been re-appraised, restored, cleaned, photographed and documented. The results reveal a collection of national significance. A distinct pattern may be determined – the development of modern Irish Art alongside a sociological and historical portrait of the changing values in Ireland in the last century. The selection in Imaging Ireland reveals a journey from representationalism to abstraction with the most recent images showing a return to the landscape of the West of Ireland. The new acquisition policy will concentrate on artistic responses to the region but will include conceptualism, video, digital and photography as well as traditional painting. Imaging Ireland will be on sale in selected bookshops and galleries and from the Press and Information Office at Áras Failte, NUI Galway. This important endorsement and celebration of Visual Arts on campus has been made possible by a joint venture between Galway University Foundation and the University Arts Office. The publication coincides with several new initiatives set in place by Professor Jim Ward, Vice-President for Physical Resources, together with the Theatre and Arts Committee and the Arts Office. The University Art Gallery has been a hive of activity lately with two important young Irish artists, Sinead Aldridge and Cian Donnelly invited there to present new paintings and sculptural pieces during Galway Arts Festival 2004. A new, enlarged gallery is also planned to house permanent and temporary exhibits. Ends

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Major international Chemistry conference hosted by NUI Galway

Major international Chemistry conference hosted by NUI Galway-image

Friday, 4 June 2004

An international Chemistry conference, which will be attended by 250 delegates from Europe, North America and elsewhere, will take place in NUI Galway from the 6-10 June, 2004. ESEAC 2004 is the 10th International Conference on Electroanalysis and themes to be addressed include Sensor Technology, Miniaturisation, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology. Electroanalytical Chemistry, a sub discipline of Analytical Science, deals with the development, understanding and applications of chemical measurements reliant on an electrochemical or electrical signal. Among the invited speakers are renowned experts in this area, including AJ Bard (Austin, Texas), HH Girault (Lausanne, Switzerland) and W Schuhmann (Bochum, Germany). The scientific programme will include two special Symposia, one of which is in memory of Harry Mark, an eminent American Electroanalytical Chemist who passed away in March 2003. The second symposium focuses on Nanotechnology: Surfaces, Sensors and Systems, with presentations at the cutting edge of electrochemical aspects of nanoscience and technology. "It is a significant honour for the University to host this event," says Dr Donal Leech of NUI Galway's Chemistry department and conference organiser. "NUI Galway was selected as the host venue by the international scientific committee for a number of reasons, including the strength of the University's research in the area of Electroanalytical Chemistry, as well as the unrivalled scenic, cultural and social aspects of Galway as a venue for an international conference." Ends

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July 2004

International Scholars of Irish Literatures convene in NUI Galway

International Scholars of Irish Literatures convene in NUI Galway-image

Monday, 19 July 2004

Authors and poets, John McGahern, John Montague, Patricia Burke Brogan, Eilis Ní Dhuibhne and Mike McCormack, will address the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL), which will take place in NUI Galway from 20th to 23rd July 2004. This major international association of scholars and enthusiasts of Irish writing has over 1,000 members worldwide, and numbers among its membership many prominent academics and writers. More than 250 people will attend this year s conference, which is being hosted by the Department of English in NUI Galway. As this is a year of literary centenaries and commemorations, themes to be addressed at the conference include the work of Patrick Kavanagh, James Joyce and the Abbey Theatre. There will also be a strong emphasis on work from writers associated with Galway. Dr. Riana O'Dwyer, of NUI Galway's English Department and conference organiser said, "It is a singular honour for both the University and Galway City to host this prestigious event. Previous venues for the conference have included New York, Barcelona, and Sao Paulo. The choice of NUI Galway as this year's venue illustrates the international status of the University among literary scholars worldwide." Ends

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National University of Ireland Galway hosts Conference on International Accounta

National University of Ireland Galway hosts Conference on International Accounta-image

Monday, 12 July 2004

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and the United Nations University, Tokyo will host a two-day conference (15th – 16th July) on International Accountability and Justice. This conference will bring together international specialists in this field and will cover topics such as: Prosecutorial Strategy of International Criminal Tribunals and Courts Independence and impartiality of International Criminal Tribunals Obstacles to Accountability: Amnesties and Immunities Alternatives to Prosecution Several of the past and present international prosecutors will participate in this event, making it a major opportunity to reflect upon the development of international criminal accountability as well as consider future prospects. Professor William Schabas, Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights, who has over the past two years been serving on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone said: "The issues addressed during this conference are increasingly crucial in today's uncertain international climate, particularly given the ongoing controversy surrounding the trials of Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. The conference will make a significant contribution to the evolving debate on the pressing international issues of international justice." Professor Schabas continued: "With its focus on issues of independence and impartiality, and prosecutorial discretion, the conference will tackle questions where modern international tribunals have been most subject to criticism and dispute. For example, many have called into question whether Milosevic or Saddam Hussein can get a fair trial. This Conference will speak to these matters." Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will be chairing the panel on Alternatives to Prosecution. Mrs. Robinson is currently based in New York, where she heads the Ethical Globalization Initiative. This panel is particularly topical given the current debate over whether or not truth commissions constitute an effective transitional justice mechanism. Other speakers include Judge Theodor Meron, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Maureen Harding Clark, Irish judge on the International Criminal Court, and David Crane, Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. ENDS

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Health Promotion conference at NUI Galway

Health Promotion conference at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 5 July 2004

The Department of Health Promotion, NUI Galway is holding its eighth annual Conference on the 8th and 9th July 2004. This year, the conference will focus on 'European Perspectives on Promoting Health and Well-being". Health Promotion is a social model of health and well-being and is based on the principles of equity, participation, empowerment and social justice (WHO, Ottawa Charter, 1986). "The focus of this multidisciplinary area of study and practice is on enhancing the strengths and competencies of individuals and communities, thereby enabling people to increase control over and improve their health," says Margaret Barry, of NUI Galway's Department of Health Promotion. "Central to this endeavour is the role of citizen participation and empowerment in the larger socio-political context," she says. Conference presentations will discuss topics including the growing power and influence of the European Union (EU) institutions in health promotion, public health and higher education, especially following recent enlargement. The experience of the European Training Consortium in Public Health and Health Promotion and European Masters in Health Promotion Training initiatives will also be addressed. The conference programme will also include workshops and a symposium on Professional Competencies in Health Promotion from a European perspective. Health Promotion experts from the UK, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Ireland will address the conference, which builds on the European Summer School on 'Strategies for Health in Europe' (28 June to 8th July), currently being hosted by the Department of Health Promotion. This postgraduate-level Summer School is jointly organised by the European Training Consortium in Public Health and Health Promotion (ETC-PHHP) and the European Masters Programme in Health Promotion (EUMAHP) consortium. Ends

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August 2004

NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) - Weaving the New Web

NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) - Weaving the New Web-image

Monday, 30 August 2004

Emerging Internet Technologies - the Semantic Web - has massive business,technology, and social applications. A research project at NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) entitled the Friend of a Friend (FOAF) project (http://www.foaf-project.org/), is a practical experiment designed to identify and solve social and business concerns arising from the next generation of web technology - the "semantic web". The first FOAF Workshop which takes place on 1-2 September at NUI Galway, will bring together people from all perspectives to discuss the issue. It will be attended by social, technical, legal, business and academic parties to try to shape and mould the evolution of these new social applications of internet technology with the budding semantic web. Online Social Networking sites and the Friend-of-a-Friend standard make it possible for communities to exist on the Internet and allow companies to build infrastructure to connect people and manage connections. FOAF and Online Social Networking also open significant business and usage opportunities. "The FOAF standard acts as a crystallization point for development of the Semantic Web", says Dr Decker. "People are extending the FOAF standard to manage their own personal and business information. Dr John Breslin, another organizer, and also a researcher at DERI, says: "Until recently, each site kept its own database of personal information. This meant that each time you visited a separate site you had to re-enter the same information. A similar thing happens each time you buy something off the Internet. Go to a different shopping site and you have to retype in the same information over again. The semantic web will allow your computer to do this automatically for you. The challenge is to enable your computer to "know" what information is appropriate to give out about you." There is a growing user and business interest in being able to transport relevant information between sites. This obviously raises big security issues. No one wants information that they enter for personal reasons to be available to marketers, spammers or fraudsters. FOAF is trying to reduce the need for data re-entry, while allowing users to control who sees what information about them. Topics to be discussed will include, among others Applications of online social networks; Trust Issues in social networks; Privacy, etiquette and best practice issues for aggregators; Exchange of social network information; Integration with desktop and mobile applications; Business Models for the Semantic Web (Life after banner advertisements). Ends

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September 2004

Presentation to National University of Ireland, Galway of the Shields Family Arc

Presentation to National University of Ireland, Galway of the Shields Family Arc-image

Thursday, 30 September 2004

- giving students greater insight into Arthur Shields and his contribution to the Irish Cultural Revival and Abbey Theatre- Collection includes: Unpublished letters of Yeats, Lady Gregory and O'Casey Rare first editions of books signed by the authors, including Pomes Penyeach (the 1927 Paris edition) by James Joyce Collection of Abbey plays from the 1920s onwards The National University of Ireland, Galway is delighted today (Thursday 30th September) to announce the gift to the Library and the University of the papers of the late Abbey actor Arthur Shields and those of the Shields Family (Barry Fitzgerald was a brother of Arthur Shields). The collection was presented to the President of the University, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, by Arthur Shields' daughter Christine Shields, at an event hosted in the James Hardiman Library. This extensive archive which includes posters, programmes, and playscripts - including annotated directors' playscripts of many Abbey productions from the 1920s and 1930s and material relating to the administration of those tours: press cuttings, photographs, correspondence, and financial accounts, will complement the Library's existing theatre archives. Commenting on the donation, The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said: "Outside of the Abbey itself and the National Library, this archive is the strongest collection relating to the Abbey and will be of enormous benefit to the study of twentieth century Irish theatre in the University. This donation will give our students greater insight into the work and contribution of Arthur Shields. We are committed to the advancement of Film and Theatre Studies at this University and the growth of our theatre archive along with the progress of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, demonstrates this commitment." Marie Reddan, Librarian at the James Hardiman Library added, "We are honoured to receive this outstanding donation which will enhance our Library's existing theatre archives which include those of Druid, Macnas, An Taibhdhearc, Galway Arts Festival, The O'Malley Lyric Theatre Belfast and also the John McGahern literary archive." The collection also comes with Arthur Shields' book collection, which includes many of the Abbey plays from the twenties onwards. Shields was from his youth, committed to the Irish cultural revival (he was one of the last fighters to remain in the GPO in Easter 1916), and he acquired a very complete library of Irish poems, plays, and stories of the period. This collection includes rare first editions with copies signed by the authors, such as a copy of Pomes Penyeach (the 1927 Paris edition) by James Joyce. The bequest resulted from the enthusiasm of Dr Adrian Frazier of the Department of English at National University of Ireland, Galway who in his research on Irish actors in Hollywood in the 30s and 40s, (when Arthur Shields managed Abbey tours to America), became aware of the papers which were in the possession of Arthur Shields' daughter Christine, who lives in Oakland, California. Aware of Christine's desire to see the collection located in Ireland, Frazier signalled the particular interest of the National University of Ireland, Galway and in a relatively short time, the collection was donated to the University. Ends

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NUI Galway Physicist receives International Award at the Hungarian Academy of Science

NUI Galway Physicist receives International Award at the Hungarian Academy of Science-image

Wednesday, 29 September 2004

Dr Colin O'Dowd, NUI Galway, was the 2004 recipient of the Smoluchowski Award in Aerosol Science, awarded at the European Aerosol Conference, held at the Hungarian Academy of Science in Budapest this month. He is the first Irish recipient of this prestigious award. Aerosol Science is the study of airborne particles which range in size from nanometres (one thousand millionth of a meter) to millimetres and influences all aspects of our life from medical, industrial and environmental disciplines. This honour is awarded annually to a distinguished young scientist (under the age of 40) who has contributed outstanding research works to the field of Aerosol Science over the last 2-3 years. The award is in honour of the Polish physicists, Marian Smoluchowski (1872-1917), for pioneering works in aerosol physics. Dr O'Dowd's research focuses on the impact of atmospheric aerosols on climate change and air quality. Atmospheric aerosols are required to form clouds and consequently have an important impact on the global hydrological cycle. Also, both cloud and aerosol haze layers block the sun's heat and are predicted to partially reduce global warming from greenhouse gas emissions. O'Dowd has had 3 of his articles published in Nature – the world's premier scientific journal – over the last 2 years and has published more than 150 scientific articles over the last 14 years. The aerosol science award is open to competition from the fields of Fundamental Aerosol Physics, Medical Aerosols, Industrial Aerosols, Process Engineering, Combustion Aerosols, and Atmospheric Aerosol Science. Since its inception in 1986, there have been three awards in the field of Atmospheric Aerosols (one each for Finland, the UK and the US) and now Dr O'Dowd of Ireland. Ends

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