The Ireland America Science Forum (IASF) was created in 2019 to strengthen existing and build new connections among scientists in North America and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. By disseminating information on funding and employment opportunities, enhancing bi/multilateral partnerships through representation, promoting mentorship of Irish students and scientists in academia and industry, IASF provides a forum for discussion and representation in trans-Atlantic science activities and policy.
The world is currently confronted with immensely challenging problems that require the attention of devoted scientist from every sector. Enterprising activities in research and business are underway by Ireland-affiliated scientists on both sides of the Atlantic that address the climate emergency, health disparities and disease, environmental degradation, and other important issues. It is the mission of IASF to be a forum for building bridges between these communities, with the notion that, with judicious partnering, the whole will well exceed the sum of its parts in terms of research productivity and societal impact.
Irish science has grown by leaps and bounds in recent decades, with the fruits of investment in science by Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of the Economy for Northern Ireland, and by US and Canadian agencies in the sponsoring of Irish scientists in the US, that the time is ripe for a virtual and physical agora of the human and intellectual capital that has emerged. By helping to link academic and industrial scientists from all affiliated countries, by sponsoring and hosting symposia and conferences around topical scientific areas, and by facilitating communication between scientists and relevant government agencies, embassies and consulates, IASF can position itself as a nexus in Ireland-America science connections.
We welcome you to join IASF and contribute to the excitement around the possibilities for the future of science for society.
Organization and Management
The Forum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in Washington DC. The Forum 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 Forum 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.