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The Prussian Academy of Sciences (German: Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften) was an academy established in Berlin on 11 July 1700, four years after the Akademie der Künste or "Arts Academy", to which "Berlin Academy" may also refer.

Prince-elector Frederick III of Brandenburg founded the academy under the name of Kurfürstlich Brandenburgische Societät der Wissenschaften ("Electoral Brandenburg Society of Sciences") upon the advice of Gottfried Leibniz, who was appointed president. Unlike other academies, the Prussian Academy was not directly funded out of the state treasury. Frederick granted it the monopoly on producing and selling calendars in Brandenburg, a suggestion by Leibniz. As Frederick was crowned "King in Prussia" in 1701, creating the Kingdom of Prussia, the academy was renamed Königlich Preußische Sozietät der Wissenschaften ("Royal Prussian Society of Sciences"). While other academies focused on a few topics, the Prussian Academy was the first to teach both sciences and humanities. In 1710, the academy statute was set, dividing the academy in two sciences and two humanities classes. This was not changed until 1830, when the physics-mathematics and the philosophy-history classes replaced the four old classes.

The reign of King Frederick II ("Frederick the Great") saw major changes to the academy. In 1744, the Nouvelle Société Littéraire and the Society of Sciences were merged into the Königliche Akademie der Wissenschaften ("Royal Academy of Sciences"). An obligation from the new statute were public calls for ideas on unsolved scientific questions with a monetary reward for solutions. The academy acquired its own research facilities in the 18th century: an observatory in 1709, an anatomical theater in 1717, a Collegium medico-chirurgicum in 1723, a botanical garden in 1718, and a laboratory in 1753. However, those were taken over by the University of Berlin

Beginning in 1815, research businesses led by academy committees (such as the Greek-Roman Archeology Committee or the Oriental Committee) were founded at the academy. They employed mostly scientists to work alongside the corresponding committee's members. University departments emanated from some of these businesses after 1945.

Under Nazi rule (1933–1945), the academy was subject to the Gleichschaltung: Jewish employees and members were expelled. The new academy statute went in effect on 8 June 1939, reorganizing the academy according to the Nazi leader principle.

Following World War II, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany reorganized the academy under the name of Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften ("German Academy of Sciences") on 1 July 1946. In 1972, it was renamed Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR (literally GDR Academy of Sciences). This academy was disbanded and the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften ("Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities") was founded in compliance with the 1992 treaty between the Länder Berlin and Brandenburg. 60 of the GDR academy's members created the Leibniz Society in 1993.

Notable members


This article incorporates information from the revision as of 12 October 2006 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.


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