Chinese Academy of Sciences

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Chinese Academy of Sciences


(also, the Academy of Sciences of the People’s Republic of China), the highest scientific institution in China, coordinating research in all branches of knowledge and directing many research organizations. The academy was founded in 1949 through the merger of the Academia Sinica in Nanking and the Peking Research Academy. The academy is headed by the Council of the Academy of Sciences, which directs the divisions of the academy and elects a standing committee, consisting of a president, six vice-presidents, and a general secretary. Kuo Mo-jo was appointed president of the academy in 1949.

At first, in 1949, the academy had jurisdiction over 16 research institutes and six laboratories, with 224 scientific staff members. Taking Soviet experience into account, the academy organized its work along three fundamental lines: the guidance of scientific work in the country, the strengthening of collaboration between scientific organizations, and the study of scientific and technological achievements in other countries. The Academy of Sciences of the USSR rendered the Chinese Academy substantial assistance in developing research and training personnel. In 1954 the academy consisted of four divisions: physics, chemistry, and mathematics; biology and earth sciences (reorganized in 1957 into two divisions—biology and geology-geography); technical sciences; and social sciences. In its early years the academy had branches in Shanghai, Nanking, and K’unming.

In 1958 the Chinese government decided to establish branches of the academy in every province and autonomous region, and by the end of 1959 there were 26 such branches. However, in 1961–62 these provincial branches were dropped, and only five regional branches remained. In 1962 there were more than 110 research institutes under the academy, and little has changed since. The number of scientific staff members in 1962 was 8,000, including approximately 1,000 scientists with advanced degrees. In 1967 some 10,000 staff members were engaged with the academy, of which about half were trained scientists.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences includes the Committee on Atomic Energy, Institute of Science and Technology (which trains science professionals), the Scientific and Technical Information Center, and several committees in various scientific fields that are in charge of specialized research institutes.


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