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First ever image of a black hole

Leading researchers from Dublin Institute of Advanced Science (DIAS) were joined by astronaut Chris Hadfield to witness the first ever image of a black hole being revealed. The momentous event took place in April 2019 at a European press conference which was screened live at DIAS to reveal the ground-breaking results from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

Commander Chris Hadfield is pictured here with Professor Peter Gallagher, Head of DIAS Astrophysics.

How to Make Artificial Intelligence Work for the Good of Humanity

Increasingly, we see examples of advanced technologies deemed to be out of step with social norms and requirements such as privacy, transparency, accountability. 2019 saw the State rebuked for the misuse of data via the Public Services Card, Facebook removing ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’ from its site, and Amazon discontinuing use of a recruiting tool found to be biased towards male candidates. This article outlines measures that should be taken to minimise risks and enhance the positive contribution of AI to the digital society.

Jennifer Edmond
Associate Professor of Digital Humanities, Trinity College Dublin

Open Research

Innovating in the Public Sector

This article explores the recently published National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment, the process behind its preparation, and the move to implementation. It argues that ultimately, open research requires system thinking and a change in research culture and behaviour, including the need for alliances across departments, sectors, and communities.

Patricia Clarke
Programme Manager – Policy and EU funding, Health Research Board, and Co-Chair, National Open Research Forum

Friendship at the Interface of Research and Policymaking

Finding a common language

At the interface of research and policymaking, researchers must maintain their ability to be objective, honest brokers, while policymakers must devise feasible policies based on the evidence and analysis they receive. This article, by examining the avenues of research entering the policymaking conversation, shows how the relationship can be deepened for the benefit of both parties.

Charles Larkin
Senior Lecturer, Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath

Experts, Disagreement, and Trust

When politics invites itself into your research

The research project When Experts Disagree, funded by the Irish Research Council, was an attempt to resolve the complexities of peer expert disagreement. During its work, the philosophical discourse on expertise changed, with the very standing of experts undermined in an age of political anxiety and suspicion. This article explores the topic of trust in experts and the role of philosophy in defending against the dark clouds of irrationality and extremism.

Prof. Maria Baghramian
Member of the Royal Irish Academy, School of Philosophy, UCD

Growing Up in Ireland

Insights on Inclusion in Irish Schools

This article assesses the evidence on how students with special educational needs (SEN) compare with their peers across a range of dimensions. It then considers the new special-education funding arrangements as a policy lever to potentially address the gaps between SEN and non-SEN students.

Georgiana Mihut
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Economic and Social Research Institute
Selina McCoy
Associate Research Professor, Economic and Social Research Institute

Educator Well-Being

Ignoring systemic stress at our peril

There is growing discourse in the teaching profession about stress and educator well-being. Ignoring the increasing pace of education work, and the increasing pressures that go with it, will not result in these pressures going away. Given the challenges in recruiting school principals due to workload, stress, and burnout, this article calls for the need to recognise and engage with these issues.

Prof. Patricia Mannix McNamara
Head of the School of Education, University of Limerick
Niamh Hickey
Doctoral Scholar, School of Education, University of Limerick

Other Chapters Ireland's Yearbook of Education 2019 2020

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