The Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Latin Pontificia Academia Scientiarum) is a scientific academy of the Vatican, founded in 1603 and later re-established in 1936 by Pope Pius XI. It is placed under the protection of the reigning Supreme Pontiff. 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 intended 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.
The Academy is headquartered in the Casina Pio IV in the heart of the Vatican Gardens.
The academy holds a membership roster of the most respected names in 20th century science, including such Nobel laureates as Ernest Rutherford, Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Otto Hahn, Charles Hard Townes and Stephen Hawking.