CyberPsychology Research Centre leaving Ireland, Mary Aiken says

4 Nov 2015

Speaking at yesterday’s Web Summit, the head of Ireland’s CyberPsychology Research Centre, Mary Aiken, confirmed that, in order for it to grow, it is going to relocate overseas.

The CyberPsychology Research Centre based in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) has been establishing itself as one of the world’s most prominent centres looking at the amalgamation of psychology and technology, but it now appears that the RCSI believes that it is time for the centre to move on.

The director of the centre, Prof Mary Aiken, has become well-known in the cyberpsychology field and her work inspired the TV show, CSI: Cyber, on which she also served as a producer, and she also featured in’s list of the top 100 women in STEM in 2014.

But, speaking at the Web Summit, she drew comparisons with the RCSI’s decision to end support for the centre and the Web Summit’s decision to move the event to Lisbon from 2016.

“Unfortunately, in the spirit of [Web Summit founder] Paddy Cosgrave, our research centre will now be going overseas in the new year. The Irish institutional mindset leaves a sad propensity to strangle our own success stories at birth,” Prof Aiken said.

“It was not my decision that the centre is leaving. The RCSI’s wording was that the Centre did not fit with its research vision going forward.”

She also admitted that, for the last 18 months, she had turned down numerous opportunities to move the centre from Ireland’s shores, but it is now looking likely that she and the centre will move to operations in the US.

“We need to move now to an international centre that wants to focus on cutting-edge research. We will be making an announcement in the next few weeks,” Prof Aiken continued. “I will hope that the transition is seamless. I have been proud to represent the centre internationally, particularly in a forum such as CSI where the work of the centre is broadcast to 171 countries.”

Mary Aiken image via Web Summit/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic