Goals of the Forum
The goal of the Ireland America Science Forum is to build stronger links between the Irish scientific Diaspora in the United States, Canada, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland through disseminating information on funding and employment opportunities, enhancing bilateral and multilateral partnerships through representation, promoting mentorship of Irish students and scientists in academia and industry and providing a forum for discussion and representation in trans-Atlantic science policy.
Organization and Management
The Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in Washington DC. The Network is led by a Board of Directors which makes decisions regarding the general direction of the group. The Board acts as liaison with other interested bodies such as Irish embassies and consulates and government science agencies. The Network has an experienced and senior Board of Directors of well recognized business and academic personnel with strong Irish connections. The Board's goal is to help awareness of the network, advise on directions and assist in raising funds to create a sustainable network.
History and Foundation
Inspired by the recognition of Irish contributions to business and culture sectors internationally, the Forum started life as the Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists (WGNIS) recognizing the need to advance similar awareness of the Irish contribution in the sciences. Professor Nick Farrell provided the initial scientific vision and he was joined by Ms Cathy O'Connor First Secretary ICT and Energy Policy, Embassy of Ireland. Together they provided the leadership to create the first network engaging others to join them in a steering committee that led to the formation of the organization.
The network was formed in February 2011 in Washington DC at a breakfast hosted by Cathy O’Connor, First Secretary ICT and Energy Policy, Embassy of Ireland and is supported by Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States, Anne Anderson. The inaugural meeting of the network was attended by representatives from Irish Government agencies including Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser, Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board and the Marine Institute. The Network is recognized by The Northern Ireland Bureau. In 2014 the organization was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization culminating in the election of a Board of Directors. The Network provides a forum for discussion, advancement of ideas, consultancy, publicity and engagement of Irish scientists in policy. The depth and breadth of the Diaspora is highlighted by membership from senior faculty and early career professionals in academia, pharmaceutical companies, the energy and biotechnology sectors and science policy and communications. The organization acknowledges the vision and hard work of the original founders Professor Nick Farrell and Cathy O' Connor, and the work of the steering committee including Dr Nick Farrell, Cathy O' Connor, Sam Bunting, Orla Casey, Sinead Farrell, David Loane, Gwen Murphy, and Brid Ryan.
In the Spring of 2018, the Board voted to change the name of the organization to the Ireland America Science Forum to better reflect the mission of the organization.