Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Swedish: Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien) is one of the royal academies of Sweden. Founded on 2 June 1739, it is an independent, non-governmental scientific organization that takes special responsibility for promoting natural sciences and mathematics and strengthening their influence in society, whilst endeavouring to promote the exchange of ideas between various disciplines.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien
Formation2 June 1739; 285 years ago (2 June 1739)
HeadquartersStockholm, Sweden
470 Members
(including 175 Foreign members)
Birgitta Henriques Normark
Secretary General
Hans Ellegren

The goals of the academy are:

  • To be a forum where researchers meet across subject boundaries,
  • To offer a unique environment for research,
  • To provide support to younger researchers,
  • To reward outstanding research efforts,
  • To communicate internationally among scientists,
  • To advance the case for science within society and to influence research policy priorities
  • To stimulate interest in mathematics and science in school, and
  • To disseminate and popularize scientific information in various forms.

Every year, the academy awards the Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the Crafoord Prize, the Sjöberg Prize and several other awards. The academy maintains close relations with foreign academies, learned societies and international scientific organizations and also promotes international scientific cooperation. The Academy of Sciences is located within the Stockholm region's Royal National City Park.


Nobel Chemistry Prize, news conference (2008)

International prizes


National prizes




The academy has elected about 1,700 Swedish and 1,200 foreign members since it was founded in 1739. Today, the academy has about 470 Swedish and 175 foreign members which are divided into ten "classes", representing ten various scientific disciplines:[9]

List of secretaries general

Anders Johan von Höpken, the first Secretary

The following persons have served as permanent secretaries of the academy:


Kongl. Svenska Vetenskaps-Academiens handlingar, volume XI (1750).

The transactions of the academy (Vetenskapsakademiens handlingar) were published as its main series between 1739 and 1974. In parallel, other major series have appeared and gone:

  • Öfversigt af Kungl. Vetenskapsakademiens förhandlingar (1844–1903)
  • Bihang till Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar (1872–1902)
  • Vetenskapsakademiens årsbok (1903–1969)

The academy started publishing annual reports in physics and chemistry (1826), technology (1827), botany (1831), and zoology (1832). These lasted into the 1860s, when they were replaced by the single Bihang series (meaning: supplement to the transactions). Starting in 1887, this series was once again split into four sections (afdelning), which in 1903, became independent scientific journals of their own, titled "Arkiv för..." (archive for...). These included:

Further restructuring of their topics occurred in 1949 and 1974. Other defunct journals of the academy include:

  • Electronic Transactions on Artificial Intelligence (1997–2001)[11]
Current publications
  • Ambio (1972–)
  • Acta Mathematica (1882–)
  • Arkiv för Matematik (1949– with this title; 1903–1949 also including physics and astronomy)
  • Acta Zoologica (1920–)
  • Levnadsteckningar över Vetenskapsakademiens ledamöter (1869–), biographies of deceased members
  • Porträttmatrikel (1971–), portraits of current members
  • Zoologica Scripta (1972–), jointly with the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters



The academy was founded on 2 June 1739 by naturalist Carl Linnaeus, mercantilist Jonas Alströmer, mechanical engineer Mårten Triewald, civil servants Sten Carl Bielke and Carl Wilhelm Cederhielm, and statesman/author Anders Johan von Höpken.[12]

The purpose of the academy was to focus on practically useful knowledge, and to publish in Swedish in order to widely disseminate the academy's findings. The academy was intended to be different from the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala, which had been founded in 1719 and published in Latin. The location close to the commercial activities in Sweden's capital (which unlike Uppsala did not have a university at this time) was also intentional. The academy was modeled after the Royal Society of London and Academie Royale des Sciences in Paris, France, which some of the founding members were familiar with.[citation needed]

See also



  1. ^ "Nobel Prizes – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Prize in Economic Sciences – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Crafoord Prize – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Sjöberg Prize – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Rolf Schock Prizes – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Gregori Aminoff Prize – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Tobias Prize – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  8. ^ "ICRP - Awards". Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  9. ^ "The members – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  10. ^ Center for Molecular Medicine, "Göran K. Hansson new Permanent Secretary for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences", 2015.
  11. ^ Electronic transactions on artificial intelligence : ETAI. (Journal, magazine, 1997) []. OCLC 1001705427. Retrieved 1 July 2020 – via
  12. ^ "History". The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
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