The Academy of Sciences brings together French scientists and foreign associates, both selected from among the most eminent.


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Site Internet de l'Académie des sciences

News of the French Academy of Sciences

Post-Doctoral Fellowship offered to Japanese Student
The French Academy of Sciences aware of the consequences of the recent disaster in northern Japan wishes to contribute to the recovery of the activities in the world of sciences. The Academy offers a 6 months to one year scholarship for a young post-doc to help him (her) persue his (her) experimental research activity in a french laboratory involved in the theme of for example, high magnetic fields, low temperature physics, materials research, etc,... See more information

"On the proper use of bibliometrics to evaluate individual researchers"

Report presented on 17 January 2011 to the Minister of Higher Education and Research - See the report

"Demography, climate and world food"

RST 32 - March 2011 - Ed. EDP Sciences - 33,00 €
Report in French excepted: Recommendations


RST 31 - January 2011 - Ed. EDP Sciences - 27,00 €
Report in French excepted: Summary and Recommendations

"Climate Change"

Report of the Académie des sciences - October 2010, 26 - See the report

The missions of the Academy of Sciences

Article 1. The Academy of Sciences - Institute of France brings together French scientists and forms associations with foreign scholars, where both the former and the latter are selected from among the most eminent. By their involvement, they contribute to the accomplishing of the missions of the Academy.

Article 2. The Academy of Sciences is independent and durable, it encourages scientific life, and contributes to progress in the sciences and in their applications :
- it studies social questions associated with the development of the sciences and formulates recommendations, possibly with the involvement of other Academies,
- it is involved in the development of international scientific relations, notably within the European Union, and in the representation abroad of research carried out in France,
- it monitors the quality of the teaching of the sciences and works to ensure that the products of scientific development are integrated into the culture of people of our time,
- it encourages the diffusion of science among the public,
- it diligently upholds the role and the quality of French scientific language.

Article 3. The Academy of Sciences constantly and vigilantly reflects upon the place occupied on the world stage by research undertaken in France, upon the organization of the research, upon the directions of the scientific programmes, and also upon technology and the applications of the sciences.
It carries out this activity, on its own or with other Academies :
- by undertaking studies on its won initiative or at the request of international, national or regional public powers,
- by dealing with social problems having scientific components and by publicly taking up a stance via detailed reports,
- by presenting recommendations, wishes or suggestions concerning problems of national or international interest,
- by designating its Members to represent it, when invited, on councils or committees or by giving its opinion on nominations in response to statutory demand.
It makes known the conclusions which it has reached in publications, in communiqués or by any other means which ensures a broad diffusion for the former.

Article 4. The Academy of Sciences plays an active role in the development of international scientific relations, notably European,
- by establishing relations with foreign Academies which may be find expression in common structures, in agreements on cooperation and the exchange of scholars, in the organization of colloquia or in the joint publication of reports,
- by providing France's representation in the International Council of Scientific Unions (I.C.S.U),
- by electing foreign associates,
- by maintaining cooperations with developing countries,
- by defending men of science who are victims of human rights violations.

Article 5. The Academy of Sciences, by virtue of its multidisciplinary approach and its interactions with other branches of knowledge, plays a role, within the framework of the Institute of France, in scientific life and provides its support for the latter. In particular:
- it helps to define scientific and technical research policy by establishing and publishing reports,
- it publishes brief articles and review articles rapidly in its "Comptes rendus",
- it awards prizes to researchers and authors whom it wishes to reward or encourage,
- it gives out an international "gold medal" annually,
- in its public meetings, it presents original works or overview accounts,
- it organizes colloquia or conferences, on topical themes, possibly in cooperation with other Academies,
- it retains "sealed envelopes" which can be used to establish the anteriority of a discovery,
- in its archives, it provides for the conservation of documents which contribute to knowledge of the history of sciences and of the progress of scientific thought.

Article 6. The Academy of Sciences takes care to ensure that scientific culture and advances in knowledge are made accessible to all:
- by engaging in reflections upon scientific education at all levels, and by proposing appropriate actions,
- by promoting the European and international dimensions of education,
- by an involvement in providing information to the media and the public, distinguishing between that which can be considered to be fact and that which remains hypothetical,
- by ensuring that ethical rules are respected in scientific activities,
- by working for the propagation of science as a component of culture.


The Academy of Sciences owes its origin to Colbert's plan to create a general academy (Colbert was prime minister under King Louis XIV). It also forms part of the lineage of diverse groups of scholars who, in the 17th Century, collected around a patron or a learned personality. Colbert chose a small group of scholars who met in December 1666 in the King's library in Paris, and thereafter held twice-weekly working meetings there. The first 30 years of the Academy's existence were relatively informal, since no statutes had as yet been laid down for the institution.

On 20 January 1699, Louis XIV gave the Company its first rules. The Academy received the title of Royal Academy of Sciences and was installed in the Louvre in Paris. Comprising 70 members, in the 18th Century, it contributed to the scientific movement of its time through its publications and played a role as counsellor to those in power.

In 1793, the Convention abolished the Academy of Sciences, as well as other academies of Literature, Fine Arts, etc.

Two years later, on 22 August 1795, a National Institute of Sciences and Arts was put in place, bringing together the old academies of sciences, literature and arts. The Institute's first class (physical sciences and mathematics) was the largest (66 members out of 144).

In 1805, the National Institute of Sciences and Arts was transferred to the old so-called College of the Four-Nations (founded by Cardinal Mazarin in 1661). This is still his location.

In 1816, the Academy of sciences became autonomous, while forming part of the Institute of France; the head of State remained its patron.

In 1835, under the influence of François Arago, the proceedings (Comptes Rendus) of the Academy of Sciences were created, which became an instrument of primary importance for the diffusion of French and foreign scientific works.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the Academy witnessed a decline in activity and influence. In the face of the accelerated development of scientific research in France, in order to remain faithful to its vocation, the Academy had to adapt its structures and its missions. It embarked upon a far-reaching reform of its statutes in 1976, then in 2002 and 2003, concerning its membership as well as its missions. The number of Members less than 75 currently reaches 250. At each election, half of the Members elected have to be less than 55. The number of foreign Associates is 150. The new statutes permit the Academy to play an active role in studying the questions of society raised by the scientific and technological progress, in monitoring the organisation of research and the quality of scientific teachning, in developing international scientific relations, and in diffusing science in the public.

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L'Académie des sciences est l'une des cinq Académies composant l'Institut de France - Mentions légales - INTRANET - [ Mise à jour le 05.05.2011 ]
crédit photo Illustration Induction des cellules myélinisantes dans le cerveau de souris déficient en myéline après un traitement par l'hormone thyroïdienne T3. Les oligodendrocytes (producteurs de myéline) sont visualisés par une fluorescence verte grâce à un gène marqueur GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein). Des chercheurs ont montré que, dans un modèle animal de la sclérose en plaques (SEP), la remyélinisation des axones est favorisée par un traitement par T3. Cette réparation des gaines de myéline détruites pourrait contribuer au ralentissement ou à la prévention de la sclérose en plaques.
© CNRS Photothèque / GHANDOUR Said / 2009