The precursor to the actual Pontifical Academy of Sciences was the "Linceorum Academia," which was founded in Rome in 1603 and which, after some vicissitudes, was named "Pontificia Academia dei Nuovi Lincei" by Pius IX in 1847. It was enlargened by Leo XIII in 1887, and in 1936 it received its current name from Pius XI. photo The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
Currently it is the only academy of sciences of a supranational character which exists in the world. It has as its scope: to pay honor to pure science, wherever it is found, and to assure its freedom and to promote its research, which constitute the indispensable basis for progress in science.
This academy is directly responsible to the Holy Father. Elected for a four-year term, its president since 1993 has been Italian Prof. Nicola Cabibbo. It is composed by 80 academicians who are named by the pope. The academic body selects names, without discriminating in any way, among the most illustrious devotees of mathematical and experimental sciences of every country, and then proposes them to the pope. Chancellery director is H.E. Msgr. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo.
Added to these 80 academicians are the "perdurante munere" academicians, chosen by reason of their office, and honorary academicians, by reason of their merits towards the academy.
The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was founded by John Paul II in January 1994, with the Motu Proprio "Socialum Scientiarum" [Pontifical Academies for Science, Social Sciences, Life]. Its objective, says Article 1 of its statutes, is "to promote the study and progress of social, economic, political and juridical sciences in the light of the social doctrine of the Church." Read more