“I write on the edge of an epic adventure.”
Moving family between continents in the middle of a pandemic brings moments of unbridled excitement and enthusiasm for what lies ahead in Galway, tinged with feelings of sadness to leave such wonderful friends and colleagues behind in California. I choose to focus on the positives and am struck by many wonderful similarities between the two West Coasts.
Notwithstanding some differences in weather, I am awestruck by the natural beauty of both places, and the warmth of welcome and true sense of community of the people in both locales. Galway to me has always possessed an almost magical sense of adventure; a frontier land that embraces its place on the edge of a continent; a place and people that boldly connect the past to the present; a place that looks to the horizon and strives to create a better future.
There have rarely been more profound times where the world looks to research universities for answers to the most complex of challenges facing humanity and our planet. The persistence and complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic challenges the greatest minds to come together, the enormity of addressing climate change demands collective immediate action, the inequalities that plague society will only be addressed through bold original thinking and true engagement. These challenges create a pressing necessity to accelerate scholarship and innovation by engaging with each other in new ways, collaborating across research disciplines, across political and geographical boundaries, and across sectors of society.
It’s a great honour for me to join NUI Galway and I can’t wait to see what positive change we can collectively bring both locally and globally. Through partnership and collaboration, it truly feels it is possible to change the world from here.