Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Pontificia accademia delle scienze
Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg
TypeCatholic, Research institute, Pontifical University
Established1936; 82 years ago (1936)
ChancellorMarcelo Sánchez Sorondo
PresidentJoachim von Braun[1]
LocationCasina Pio IV
00120 Vatican City

41°54′15″N 12°27′9″E / 41°54′15″N 12°27′9″E / casinapioiv.va
Coat of arms Holy See.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Holy See
Flag of the Vatican City.svg Vatican City portal
046CupolaSPietro.jpg Catholicism portal
Casina Pio IV, home of the academy

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Italian: Pontificia accademia delle scienze, Latin: Pontificia Academia Scientiarum) is a scientific academy of the Vatican City, established in 1936 by Pope Pius XI, and thriving with the blessing of the Papacy ever since.[2] Its aim is to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical, and natural sciences and the study of related epistemological problems. The Academy has its origins in the Accademia Pontificia dei Nuovi Lincei ("Pontifical Academy of the New Lynxes"), founded in 1847 as a more closely supervised successor to the Accademia dei Lincei ("Academy of Lynxes") established in Rome in 1603 by the learned Roman Prince, Federico Cesi (1585–1630), who was a young botanist and naturalist, and which claimed Galileo Galilei as its president. The Accademia dei Lincei survives as a wholly separate institution.[3]

The Academy of Sciences, one of the Pontifical academies at the Vatican in Rome, is headquartered in the Casina Pio IV in the heart of the Vatican Gardens.[4]The academy holds a membership roster of the most respected names in 20th century science, including such Nobel laureates as Ernest Rutherford, Max Planck, Otto Hahn, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, and Charles Hard Townes.

History

Academy courtyard

Cesi wanted his academicians to adhere to a research methodology based upon observation, experimentation, and the inductive method. He thus called his academy "dei lincei" because its members had "eyes as sharp as lynxes," scrutinizing nature at both microscopic and macroscopic levels. The leader of the first academy was the famous scientist Galileo Galilei.

Academy of Lynxes was dissolved after the death of its founder, but was re-created by Pope Pius IX in 1847 and given the name Accademia Pontificia dei Nuovi Lincei ("Pontifical Academy of the New Lynxes"). It was later re-founded in 1936 by Pope Pius XI and given its current name. Pope Paul VI in 1976 and Pope John Paul II in 1986 subsequently updated its statutes.

Since 1936, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences has been concerned both with investigating specific scientific subjects belonging to individual disciplines and with the promotion of interdisciplinary co-operation. It has progressively increased the number of its academicians and the international character of its membership. The Academy is an independent body within the Holy See and enjoys freedom of research. The statutes of 1976 express its goal: "The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has as its goal the promotion of the progress of the mathematical, physical, and natural sciences, and the study of related epistemological questions and issues."[3]

Other Languages