Here at Alice PR, we’ve proud to work with DIAS, the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, which is celebrating its 80th birthday this year.

Tomorrow – 19th June 2020 – marks 80 years to the day since the Act establishing DIAS was signed into law.

Éamon de Valera was the driving force behind the establishment of DIAS in 1940. At that time, DIAS was the first institute for advanced studies in Europe – and only the second such institute in the world (after Princeton).

Over the past eight decades, researchers at DIAS have conducted ground-breaking work in the Institute’s core disciplines of Celtic Studies, Theoretical Physics, Astrophysics and Geophysics.  They have pioneered space research in Ireland; uncovered fascinating facts about Celtic society and its legacy; and contributed to greater global understanding of the underpinning mathematical principles of nature.

Ireland as a Home for Innovative Frontier Research

Throughout its history, DIAS has attracted renowned academics from all over the world, including – in its early years – a number of Jewish academics fleeing from the Nazi regime.

Major names in science and research – such as Erwin Schrödinger, John Lighton Synge, Lochlainn O’Raifeartaigh, D.A. Binchy and Sheila Power Tinney – worked at DIAS over the course of their careers.

Launch of DIAS 2020 programme to mark DIAS's 80th birthdayDIAS is currently headed up by Dr. Eucharia Meehan, who works tirelessly to promote the Institute and its many achievements. Speaking about the 80th anniversary, she says:

“The bold decision to establish an advanced institute when the State was in its infancy, at the start of a world war, and at a time when few people in Ireland progressed to secondary education was a powerful message that Ireland was a home for intellectual leadership, independent critical enquiry, and innovative frontier research. Eighty years later, DIAS continues to be an ambassador for Ireland and contributes to important global discoveries.”

DIAS 2020

DIAS 2020 – a year-long programme of events – has been running since January to mark the 80th anniversary year.

As this week sees the actual ‘birthday’ of DIAS, a range of extra-special events and activities have been taking place. These include:

  • The inaugural DIAS Day Lecture, which takes place tomorrow, and will be delivered by Nobel Laureate and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, Gerard’t Hooft. The lecture will focus on black holes and how they might be sources of new physics.
  • A panel discussion on ‘DIAS and De Valera’, which took place on Monday evening. We were delighted to look after both event management and publicity for this event. The discussion was moderated by RTÉ broadcaster David McCullagh and featured James Lawless TD, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Science and Technology; Mary Daly, Emeritus Professor of History at UCD; science writer Dr. Neasa McGarrigle; and Professor Luke Drury, Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at DIAS. If you missed it, you can watch back here.
  • A #DiscoveryADay on DIAS’s social media channels.
  • A series of ‘Lockdown Lectures’ by DIAS researchers, available on YouTube.
  • An evening of Joycean literature, musical performance, mathematical and astronomical talks, titled ‘The Heaventree of Stars’, recorded at Dunsink Observatory (which is operated by DIAS) last week and now available to view online.
  • The donation by DIAS of a copy of ‘Ingenious Ireland’ to every City and County Library in the country. Written by the late Mary Mulvihill – a pioneer of science communication – ‘Ingenious Ireland’ contains a county-by-county breakdown of interesting inventions and discoveries, showcasing Ireland’s rich heritage of research, scientific curiosity and inventiveness.
Collage of media coverage for DIAS's 80th birthday
Some of the media coverage for DIAS’s 80th birthday this week

DIAS’s Work Today

Currently, there are approximately 100 researchers hailing from 20 different countries based at DIAS, and the Institute continues to conduct ground-breaking research on hugely interesting subject-matters.

In recent months alone, our own work with DIAS has covered topics such as the Solar Orbiter launch at Cape Canaveral, the geological evolution of Ireland’s offshore territory, and new insights into how planets are formed.

We love working with DIAS, and we are delighted to send our very best wishes to the Institute – and to all the many talented people who work there – on the occasion of DIAS’s 80th birthday!

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