Karl Whelan elected to Royal Irish Academy

Last week Karl Whelan was elected as a member of the Royal irish Academy.  This is one of the highest honours which can be conferred on an Irish academic and I think all readers of this blog will agree that it is richly deserved.  Well done, Karl.

32 replies on “Karl Whelan elected to Royal Irish Academy”

Point of clarification – he was actually elected, rather than taking up a seat reserved for an organisation of which he was a member (i.e. the Richard Tol route onto the climate science panel there)?

Well done Karl: this is indeed richly deserved. It’s also a nice reminder to non-academics that you actually have a day job, which you do to the very highest standard.

Why is called the “Royal” Irish Academy? 1922 and all that
What do you get when you are elected? Are you allowed graze sheep on the lawn in Belfield?
Is there any tapping on the shoulder with swords or stuff?
Do you canvass for election…hand out leaflets at the DART, put up posters etc, buy drink in the bar?

Next stop the Senate? Senator Whelan has a nice ring to it.

Nice one though


I had to look it up on the ihnternetwebby.

“Election of Members

The criterion for election to membership is a significant contribution to scholarly research as shown in the candidate’s published academic work. Approximately twenty new ordinary Members are elected each year (equally divided between the sciences and the humanities and social sciences). Candidates have to proposed and recommended by five Members.

Among the membership of the Academy are many of Ireland’s leading scholars, the best known of whom include: Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate; Joe Lee, historian; Seamus Dunne, literary scholar; Garret FitzGerald, Taoiseach 1981-2, 1982-7; Patrick Honohan, economist; Michael Laver, political scientist; Dermot Gleeson, barrister and Attorney General 1994-7; Anngret Simms, geographer; Richard Kearney, philosopher; Peter Sutherland, lawyer and banker; Noel Dorr, former diplomat; Geraldine Kennedy, journalist; Patrick Cunningham, geneticist; Mary Robinson, President of Ireland 1990-7; Mary McAleese, President of Ireland.”

fair play.

One of the roles these orgs. have in my mind is to popularise and advance various branches of science and I think Karl has taken the time to engage and discuss economic issues to an extent that has helped broaden my and surely others understanding of economics. So hat tip for that as well.

and as wellwho is the Royal in the Royal Irish Academy? Are we talking about Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair the last high king?

a former Taoiseach
2 Presidents
2 former AGs and former chairmen of Banks as well
a head of the CB

august company indeed

I think I preferred the list of former members. If I can trust wikipedia it seems the author of everybodys favourite thought experiment, Schrodinger, was also a member, or maybe a member and not a member at the same time.
Well done Karl well deserved.


Speaking of Schrodinger, methinks Karl’s favourite – The Minister – could be next in line for elevation to the RIA: It appears that Schrodinger’s cat is simultaneoulsy both still alive and still dead within The Minister’s unopeable NAMA Box_bank, for which The Minister has the only availabe unusable key, a key which changes its shape each time he observes it. Surely The Breakthrough Cute-Heuristic Equation in Quantum Finance of the Century deserves to be honoured?

To have led the public debate on the banking crisis through relentlessly dealing with the facts and exposing the rickety foundation of the case for NAMA while avoiding easy populism, Karl has done “the state some service” in Othello’s words.

In the same time frame, it must be nice to be recognised for one’s professional work/achievements.

Well done to Karl, and well deserved!!

Just looking at Greg’s List of distinguished members, perhaps there is a pattern!!

“……….Mary Robinson, President of Ireland 1990-7; Mary McAleese, President of Ireland.”

There certainly will be a vacancy shortly 🙂

Nice House and all that!

His Excellancy, Karl Whelan, MRIA has a good ring to it!!

There is something strangely appropriate about those jokes being there and not being there. The moderator is simultaneously displaying a sense of humour and not.

You sure you used the word “cat”?

@Karl Whelan
I second Mr. Hennigan’s words regarding your (and Brian Lucey’s) work on the banking crisis but congratulations too on a marvellous professional achievement.

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