Polish Academy of Sciences

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Polish Academy of Sciences


(PAN, Polska Aka-demia Nauk), the highest scientific institution in the Polish People’s Republic. It was founded in Warsaw in 1952 by a decree of the Sejm (parliament) in accordance with a proposal made by the First Congress of Polish Science in 1951. PAN drew upon the experience and achievements of the Polish Academy of Learning (Polska Akademia Umiejętności), founded in Kraków in 1873 and called the Academy of Learning prior to 1919, as well as of the Warsaw Scientific Society, founded in 1907. PAN is an association of Poland’s leading scientists, a research center, and the agency responsible for the centralized planning and supervision of scientific work in Poland.

As of 1974, PAN had 289 members and corresponding members and 91 foreign members, including 17 Soviet scientists. The academy comprises six divisions: the social sciences; the biological sciences; the mathematical, physical, chemical, geological and geographical sciences; the technical sciences; the agricultural and forestry sciences; and the medical sciences. These six divisions include 101 scientific committees in the various disciplines. PAN supervises the work of 63 regional and specialized scientific societies, with a membership of more than 58,000.

The academy operates 66 scientific institutions, among them institutes of philosophy and sociology, history, literary research, the study of the socialist countries, organization and management, the history of science and technology, biochemistry and biophysics, experimental biology, nature conservation, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, mathematics, geography, water resources, fundamental technological research, immunology, and experimental medicine. It also maintains a museum of the earth.

PAN’s publishing house issues books (more than 100,000 printer’s sheets annually) and some 200 scholarly journals. Since 1968, PAN has operated the General Lecturing Bureau, which organizes public lectures in Warsaw, Kraków, and Katowice by PAN members on the most recent scientific achievements. PAN has branches in Kraków, Wroclaw, Poznań, and Katowice, coordinating councils in Gdań sk and Łódź, and scientific offices in Paris and Rome. The academy has been expanding its international ties and currently belongs to 125 scientific associations, commissions, and other organizations. PAN maintains particularly close relations with the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Its press organ is the journal Nauka Polska (Russian edition, Zhurnal Pol’skoi Akademii Nauk).


Polska Akademia Nauk w liczbach 1966–1975. Warsaw, 1974.


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