The Polish Academy of Sciences is a state scientific institution founded in 1952. From the very beginning, it has functioned as learned society acting through an elected corporation of top scholars and research organizations, via its numerous scientific establishments. It has also become a major scientific advisory body through its scientific committees.
The activities of the Academy in its present form are regulated by the Parliamentary Act of April 25, 1997. The supreme governing body of the Academy is its General Assembly, consisting of all national members. The General Assembly sets forth the direction of the Academy’s activities and supervises their execution. Between sessions of the Assembly (which occur twice a year) the Presidium of the Academy takes responsibility for all strategic issues. The Presidium is composed of the president, three vice-presidents, seven chairmen of the divisions, the presidents of the territorial branches, plus14 additional members elected by the General Assembly from among the members of the Academy. The Presidium supervises the research units and other establishments of the Academy. The president, who also chairs the General Assembly and the Presidium, is responsible for PAN activities on an everyday basis. The election of the president for a four-year term requires at least a 2/3 majority of the current members of the General Assembly (Articles 14 - 22).
The Academy is composed of national members (including both full and corresponding members) and foreign members. Membership in the Academy is held for life. The number of national members is set at no more than 350. All members (national and foreign) are elected by the General Assembly from among candidates with the highest scientific achievements and of recognized authority. The names of potential national members are submitted by current national members, the councils of university faculties, and the scientific councils of research establishments in Poland (including the Academy institutes). Foreign members are proposed and elected by the national members. Each member of the Academy is a member of one of the seven divisions, according to her or his scientific discipline. Members are responsible for their own scientific activities as well as the statutory tasks of the Academy (Articles 7 - 11).
The organizational structure of the Academy is comprised of divisions, territorial branches and scientific and task force committees. There are seven divisions of the Academy:
Division I Social Sciences, Division II Biological Sciences, Division III Mathematical, Physical, and Chemical Sciences, Division IV Technical Sciences, Division V Agricultural, Forestry, and Veterinary Sciences, Division VI Medical Sciences, and Division VII Earth and Mining Sciences. Each Division, chaired by its elected chairperson, formulates opinions on issues concerning its scientific disciplines and provides advice to the Academy authorities on research priorities and policy in a given field. It is also their task to supervise and coordinate the activities of the Division’s scientific committees, as well as to generally supervise all Academy research establishments in a given field (Articles 25 - 28).
There are seven territorial branches of the Academy: Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź, Poznań and Wrocław. Their role is to integrate the local scientific communities and act as representatives of the Academy to the local authorities and organizations. The territorial branches consist of national Academy members, according to their place of residence (Article 29).
The committees are a very special part of the Academy. They fall into two groups: the scientific committees affiliated with the Divisions, and the task force committees (also called the problem committees) affiliated with the Presidium. The Academy’s network of 107 committees constitutes a major representation of all researchers in Poland and of the Academy’s advisory bodies. Their membership amounts to about 4,000 elected members. Each scientific committee constitutes a self-governing representation of a scientific discipline for the purpose of integrating Polish scholars. The tasks of the scientific committees are: to deal with the problems of a particular discipline, to contribute to the dissemination of the research results, and to initiate cooperation with foreign scientific centres. Furthermore, a task force committee at the Presidium of the Academy or at the division level has interdisciplinary competence, being involved in research concerning science studies, teaching, and social and economy issues (Articles 30 - 34).
PAN as a research centre is currently comprised of 79 research establishments (institutes and research centres, research stations, botanical gardens and other research units) and auxiliary scientific units (archives, libraries, museums, and foreign PAN stations) (Article 35). The research activity of the Academy is financed mainly from the State budget via the Ministry of Scientific Research and Information Technology.
Presidium of PAN
Andrzej B. Legocki, Full Member of the Academy
Janusz Lipkowski, Corresponding Member of the Academy
Emil Nalborczyk, Full Member of the Academy
Jan Strelau, Full Member of the Academy
Chairmen of Divisions
Division I - prof. Henryk Samsonowicz, Full Member of the Academy
Division II - prof. Leszek Kaczmarek, Corresponding Member of the Academy
Division III - prof. Henryk Szymczak, Corresponding Member of the Academy
Division IV - prof. Władysław Włosiński, Corresponding Member of the Academy
Division V - prof. Andrzej Grzywacz, Corresponding Member of the Academy
Division VI - prof. Andrzej Trzebski, Full Member of the Academy
Division VII - prof. Bogdan Ney, Full Member of the Academy
Presidents of the Branches
Gdańsk - prof. Jacek Marecki, Full Member of the Academy
Katowice - prof. Zbigniew Bojarski, Full Member of the Academy
Kraków - prof. Jerzy Haber, Full Member of the Academy
Lublin - prof. Jan Gliński, Full Member of the Academy
Łódź - prof. Marian Mikołajczyk, Full Member of the Academy
Poznań - prof. Jan Węglarz, Full Member of the Academy
Wrocław - prof. Edmund Małachowicz, Corresponding Member of the Academy
Members of the Presidium
Prof. Lubomir Włodzimierz Baran, Corresponding Member of the Academy
Prof. Tadeusz Bielicki, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Andrzej Burghardt, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Mieczysław Chorąży, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Zbigniew Ciesielski, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Jerzy Kołodziejczak, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Bogdan Marciniec, Corresponding Member of the Academy
Prof. Maria Olszewska, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Włodzimierz Ostrowski, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Janusz Tazbir, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Kazimierz Thiel, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Marian Truszczyński, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Stefan Węgrzyn, Full Member of the Academy
Prof. Andrzej Wyczański, Full Member of the Academy
Divisions of Polish Academy of Sciences