Academies of sciences have a long history starting in ancient Greece and later in Italy during the Renaissance. Over the centuries, the tasks of academies have been developed according to societal changes. In this paper, the roles of academies of sciences in the contemporary world are briefly analysed. The members of national or international academies are the best scientists and scholars and their responsibility is to promote knowledge. The basic principles of action in academies include independence of thought, excellence, and authority. The advisory role of academies is growing. The complexity of the world needs cooperation that strengthens the production and dissemination of knowledge. The way forward is briefly envisaged.
Agenda (2015) UNDP Sustainable development goals. The 2030 Agenda, UN.
ALLEA Report (2021) Fact or fake? Tackling science disinformation. Berlin: ALLEA.
Australian Academy of Sciences (2019) Benefits of Australian membership of the International Science Council and international scientific unions.Canberra: AAS.
Boulton, Geoffrey (2019) The contemporary global context for science. International Science Council.Budapest: World Science Forum.
EC Report (2019) Scientific advice for European policy in a complex world. Brussels: EC.
Engelbrecht, Jüri (2020) “Academies and the information-rich society”. In Massimo Mori, ed. The role of academies in sustaining European knowledge societies in times of crisis 37–44. (Quaderni, 35.) Torino: Accademia delle Scienze di Torino.
Engelbrecht, Jüri (2021) Complexity in social systems and academies. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Engelbrecht, Jüri and Nicholas Mann (2011) The sum of the parts: ALLEA and academies. Amsterdam: ALLEA.
Engelbrecht, Jüri, Momir Djurovic, and Thomas Reuter (2020) “Current tasks of academies and academia”. Cadmus 4, 2, 1, 118–126.
Engwall, Lars (2015) “Academies and their roles for policy decisions”. In Linda Wedlin and Maria Nedeva, eds. Towards European science: dynamics and change in science policy and organization, 147–174. Cheltenham: Edgar Elgarl.
Greenaway, Frank (1966) Science international: a history of the International Council of Scientific Unions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
IAP (2019) Merit-based academies in the 21st century: a think piece. IAP Working Group on “Improving scientific input to global policymaking”. Available online at
<https://www.interacademies.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/21st.pdf>. Accessed on 22 April 2022.
ISC (2019) Advancing science as a global public good: action plan 2019-2021. Paris: International Science Council.
ISC (2021) Opening the record of science. Paris: International Science Council.
LERU (2021) Statement on the role of academic institutions in building resilient and sustainable societies. Leuven: LERU Office.
Lincei (2003) Le accademie nazionali nel contesto cultural Europeo, Atti dei Convegni Lincei, Roma.
Loprieno, Antonio (2020) “European academies, and European values”. In Massimo Mori, ed. The role of academies in sustaining European knowledge societies in times of crisis, 11–15. (Quaderni, 35.) Torino: Accademia delle Scienze di Torino.
Lord Boyd-Orr, John (1961) “Foreword”. In Hugo Boyko, ed. Science and the future of mankind, 3–6. (World Academy of Art and Science, 1.) Dordrecht: Springer Science + Business Media.
Scholz, Ronald W. and Gerald Steiner (2015) “The real type and ideal type of transdisciplinary processes: part I – theoretical foundations”. Sustainability Science 10, 4, 527–544.
Šlaus, Ivo (2020) Transforming our world – necessary, urgent and still possible. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Šlaus, Ivo, Stefan Brunnhuber, Jüri Engelbrecht, Garry Jacobs, Donato Kiniger-Passigli, Thomas Reuter, and Alberto Zucconi (2020) “A planetary momentum: asymmetric shocks, global preparedness for change and the rise of a new paradigm”. World Academy of Art and Science Newsletter, April, p. 1. Available online at
<http://worldacademy.org//files/Newsletters/April2020-1.pdf>. Accessed on 22 April 2022.
Stock, Günter (2020) “Challenges and tasks for today’s academies”. In Massimo Mori, ed. The role of academies in sustaining European knowledge societies in times of crisis 21–27. (Quaderni, 35.) Torino: Accademia delle Scienze di Torino.
Turin (2020) = Mori, Massimo, ed. (2020) The role of academies in sustaining European knowledge societies in times of crisis. (Quaderni, 35.) Torino: Accademia delle Scienze di Torino.