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Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften

Tasks of the Academy

Although the Academy has undergone many changes since its foundation, its purpose and activities have remained essentially the same, the promotion of scholarly activities and research. The Academy carries out its duties in a variety of ways. It is a learned society, it supports numerous research projects, organises symposia and colloquia, corresponds with about 800 institutions in Germany and abroad, awards prizes and arranges prize competitions, draws up expert reports, and holds public lectures and meetings.

The Academy differs fundamentally from universities, being engaged purely in research and not in teaching. It differs from other research institutions partly in its dual nature as learned society and supporter of projects, but also in the wide range of its activities, which are not confined to a particular discipline or range of disciplines. The catalogue of subjects represented in the Academy, and thus of possible research topics, is all-embracing. Unlike the Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft), academies do not maintain large research institutes; unlike the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), they do not sponsor external research.

After the Second World War the Academy was without accommodation, the Wilhelminum having been destroyed by bombs in April 1943. The Bavarian State then offered a worthy new home in the former Royal Palace in Munich, in the north-east wing built by the architect Klenze. The Academy was able to move in during 1959, the bicentenary of its foundation. Here it has 135 rooms, a fine library, two large chambers for Class meetings, and a splendid hall for plenary sessions holding 400 people.


Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften

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