Richard (Dick) Ahlstrom (pictured right) is a worthy recipient of Honorary Life Membership for his major contribution to the public understanding of science and his promotion of science and science policy in this country through his weekly columns and incisive articles in The Irish Times.
He grew up in Philadelphia and is a graduate of Temple University and UCD. He became a freelance journalist in 1979, joining The Irish Times in 1982 as a staff writer. He was appointed Science Correspondent in 1986 and in 1987 began reporting on the annual Young Scientist Exhibition, a task he particularly enjoys.
In 1997 Dick became Science Editor. His weekly Science Today feature displays his unique gift for presenting complex scientific research and technological developments in a form that can be clearly understood by a wide newspaper audience.
In the 1990s Dick was involved in the revamping of the Society’s Boyle Medal which was first presented in 1899. Dick’s interest and involvement in RDS activities has also led to the establishment of the annual RDS Irish Times “Science Today” Lectures and the RDS Irish Times “Ireland in 2030” Lectures.
John M. Oxx, MVB, MRCVS (pictured left) is one of Ireland’s most respected and successful trainers. A qualified veterinary surgeon, he commenced training as assistant to his well-known and successful father, John Oxx Senior, taking over the licence on his father’s death in 1979.
He had his first group winner Orchestra that year. His first Classic winner, with Eurobird, came in the 1987 Irish St Leger. He is the Aga Khan’s sole trainer and, together, they have enjoyed tremendous success in Ireland and overseas, with many winners, among them Sinndar, which became the first horse to win the Epsom Derby, the Budweiser Irish Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the same year (2000). John also trained Ridgewood Pearl, owned by Sean Coughlan, which won four Group 1 races in four different countries.
In 2009 Sea The Stars, owned by Christopher Tsui, gave John his first win in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and went on to earn a place in racing history by winning six consecutive Group One races, becoming the only horse to complete the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and Arc treble.
John has contributed greatly to Irish racing as a talented administrator. He is former Chairman of the National Stud and the Irish Racehorse Association. Currently he chairs RACE, the Racing Academy and Centre of Education. He has also been a member of the Irish Racing Authority and the Cork, Punchestown and Leopardstown race course committees.
He is awarded Honorary Life Membership in recognition of his outstanding professionalism as a trainer of world class racehorses and his deep understanding and unstinting generosity in helping others in the promotion of one of Ireland’s best-known and valuable industries.