Dr Marie Cowan PGeo MIoD, Director of the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, has been elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA) 2020.
Dr Cowan received this accolade for her contribution to geoscience and wider society on the island of Ireland. Recognised internationally, the Royal Irish Academy has been honouring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. Past Members include Seamus Heaney, Former Presidents of Ireland Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson, and Dame Nuala O’Loan.
Among her many achievements are the cross-border collaboration on the multi award-winning Tellus geoscience programmes together with the Geological Survey of Ireland to benefit the island’s economy and research ecosystem; a multi-lingual communications campaign for OneGeology, a flagship project for UNESCO’s International Year of Planet Earth, which reached a global audience of 107 million and the initiation of the MLA-Geoscientist Pairing Scheme in Northern Ireland and the Scientist and Oireachtas Member Pairing Scheme in Ireland to enrich evidence-based policymaking.
Congratulating Dr Cowan on her election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “Geoscience impacts on all our lives. This is a wonderful and very fitting recognition of the excellent contribution to public service through geoscience by Dr Cowan in her work on behalf of the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the British Geological Survey.
"Looking ahead, geoscientists will play an integral part in society as we work towards a zero-carbon economy which takes account of the environment and I wish Dr Cowan every success as she continues her invaluable work in this important area."
Dr Cowan commented: “I am absolutely honoured and privileged to be elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. Geoscience accounts for around 34,000 jobs and 6,150 businesses in Northern Ireland alone putting it on a par with agriculture and I look forward to progressing the Academy’s mission to champion academic research and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society."
Geological Survey of Northern Ireland is part of the Department for the Economy.
Notes to editors:
- A pen picture of Dr Cowan is available on the Department for the Economy website
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