According to its code of bylaws, the Romanian Academy, Romania’s highest cultural forum, has several main objectives: cultivation of the national language and literature, study of the national history, research into major scientific domains, and promotion of democratic and ethical principles of free communication of ideas in Romanian sciences, arts and letters.
The Romanian Academy is incorporated and functions autonomously. Its activity is financed by the state, as well as by donations, legacies and other funds earmarked for the accomplishment of academic goals. The Academy administers its assets independently.

The Institute of Art History George Oprescu

There are 181 acting members (academicians and associate members), a number established by law; all members of the Academy are elected for life. Eligibility criteria include Romanian citizenship and outstanding performance in a scientific, artistic or literary domain. Candidates for associate membership can be up to 65 years old and can become full members any time after that. The Academy also has 135 honorary members who are both Romanian and foreign citizens of great intellectual value; their number is established by the General Assembly. Age is not a criterion for eligibility as an honorary member.
Membership in the Academy confers certain rights, of which foremost are, naturally, the moral ones. Members of the Academy enjoy recognition for their excellence, contribute to the direction of the Academy’s activity through their opinions and votes, participate in the activity of the Academy’s sections and scientific institutes in their respective domain, and the Academy’s full members bear the much coveted title of "Academician". Their remuneration is generally modest, and during the current period in the Romanian economy, almost symbolic.
It must be also noted that the Academy continues to sustain an activity designed to recognize and remunerate, also modestly, the outstanding performances of scientists, artists and literati who are not Academy members but have made eminent contributions to Romanian intellectual life and cultural progress. Such are the Awards of the Romanian Academy, granted annually for outstanding books, exceptional achievements or lifelong activity. There are 70 such awards, bearing the names of major Romanian cultural figures. They can be received only once in a lifetime and can go, of course, only to non-members.

Institute of Virology Stefan S. Nicolau

Prestigious scholars and cultural personalities both at home and abroad who contribute to the work of the Academy or the development of its scientific relationships are awarded the Honorary Diploma of the Romanian Academy and Diploma of Academic Merit.
The structures of the Romanian Academy cover the entire country and include all scientific, artistic and literary sectors. There are three main branches of the Academy in Romania’s main cultural centers (Iasi, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara) and 66 scientific research units throughout the country. Most are scientific institutes that focus their activity in a specialized domain, but there are also centers for research with a complex profile (especially in social sciences and humanities, but also in theoretical or applied sciences). The network of the Romanian Academy also comprises several institutions of divers profile, such as the Astronomic Observatory in Bucharest, the Retezat National Park (one of Romania’s main scientific reservations), the Geodynamic Observatory in Caldarusani, and others.

The Academy’s research institutes conduct their activity on the basis of their own research plans, under the direction of the scientific sections of the Academy. Research institutes from all over the country also work together toward the completion of large fundamental projects, such as Dictionarul limbii romāne (Romanian Language Dictionary), Dictionarul general al literaturii romāne (General Dictionary of Romanian Literature), thetreatise on Istoria Romānilor (The History of the Romanian People), on Evaluarea starii economiei nationale (Evaluation of the State of the National Economy), Evidenta patrimoniului national īnstrainat (Evidence of Romanian Patrimony Abroad), and others. Also within the academy, there function thirteen national committees either for problems of a specialized scientific domain or actions of general moment; they are committees of historians, mathematics, theoretical and applied mechanics, astronomy, etc. as well as committees for the standardization of geographical names, for global changes in the environment and others. In addition, the Academy has 60 specialized commissions, among which: the Romanian Language Commission, History of Romanian Cities Commission, Ecology Commission, Preservation of natural Monuments Commission, Soil Protection Commission, Informatics Commission, Acoustics Commision, and so on.

Scientists within the system of the Academy publish their works at the Academy’s publishing house and in the Academy’s periodicals, as well as at other publishers and in journals both at home and abroad. The Romanian Academy Publishing House issues over a hundred periodicals, most of them in languages of international currency. Analele Academiei Romāne (The Annals of the Romanian Academy) which has appeared since 1869, Proceedings of the Romanian Academy (in three series) and the monthly journal Academica give information about the Academy’s current activity.

Leadership of the Romanian Academy rests primarily with its General Assembly, which meets whenever it is necessary to examine, discuss and make decisions on current issues, as well as to elect new members and to sanction its past activity or give its approval to upcoming projects at the beginning of every year.

Between two sessions of the General Assembly, the Academy is under the directorship of its Presidium, comprised of the president, the vice presidents and the secretary general of the Academy, as well as of the presidents of its scientific sections and branches.

Between two sessions of the Academy Presidium, the executive power and permanent direction of the Academy belong to the Board of Directors, comprising the president, four vice presidents and a secretary general. They are elected for a period of four years (five years for the secretary general) and have specific tasks. The president’s tasks are those of a director of an institution both internally (direction of current activity, delegation of tasks, execution of the Academy’s program) and externally (representation of the Academy in its relationship with the state or with foreign institutions. The vice presidents coordinate the activity of those sections of the Academy in whose fields they are specialized and support the president in the accomplishment of his or her tasks. The secretary general of the Academy has the difficult task of directing the central administration staff and is responsible for the Academy’s patrimony, its budget and all of its legal and economic issues. Like all the members of the Board of the Academy, he or she is an academician, a scholar or a scientist who undertakes the difficult job of matching the purpose and profile of an eminent scientific forum with the functions, laws and programs of the state government, which very likely has other priorities than scientific research. The term of the secretary general is extended to five years for the very reason of ensuring the continuity of the Academy in the most pragmatic sense, at least for the time being: economically.

Last but not least, mention must be made of several institutions which, although not part of the scientific network of the Academy, are essential to the achievement of the Academy’s goals.
The first such institution is the library that complements the Academy and has served as the National Library of Romania, a function it still partly retains today. Scientific progress in this country could not have been studied and better understood for over a century of modern history, in the absence of the Romanian Academy Library.

An important role belongs to the Foundation of the Mehachem H. Elias family, created by a businessman active in Romania who, upon his death (in 1923), left a huge fortune to the Romanian Academy, intending it to serve both scientific and humanitarian purposes: construction and endowment of scientific institutes, grants of scholarships for young scholars toward pursuit of their studies and research, along with construction of hospitals, cultural centers, dispensaries, or remedy of damages caused by natural disasters. Similar foundations, dedicated exclusively to the Romanian Academy, had been in operation since the inception of this institution and were suppressed by the totalitarian regime. The Academy is preoccupied today with regenerating these foundations and reinvesting them with the functions originally intended by their generous donors.
In the spirit of this tradition of enlightened and generous donations, the Romanian Foundation for Science and Art was established in 1999, as a center of high intellectual tenor, a platform for lofty dialogue between the eminent thinkers of contemporary Romanian society, but also as a place where donations are taken for the multilateral support of the Romanian Academy and, through it, of Romanian culture.



copyright © Romanian Academy 2006

copyright © Academia Romānă 2006