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The national academies of Great Britain, France, and Germany, the Royal Society, the Académie des sciences, and the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina conducted a joint international project on the comparative history of European academies from 2014 to 2018. The focus of the project, jointly led by Wolfgang U. Eckart ML (Heidelberg), Claude Debru ML (Paris), and Robert Fox (Oxford), was on the history of European academies around the outbreak of World War I, throughout the conflict, and in the post-war period.

At three conferences (Halle 2014, Metz 2017, and London 2018), researchers from more than ten different European and non-European countries discussed for the first time the behavior of academies and other academic associations in the first quarter of the 20th century from a comparative perspective. The European History of Academies Research Initiative leads this tri-national research project and expands the circle of participating academies. The initiative is an informal research alliance of seven national academies: Académie des sciences (France), Accademia dei Lincei (Italy), Akademie věd České republiky (Czech Republic), Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien (Sweden), Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina (Germany), Royal Society (United Kingdom), Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Austria).

The initiative was founded on 6 June 2019 at the Leopoldina with the support of the then Leopoldina President, Jörg Hacker. The goal of this initiative is to promote international comparative research on academies and their collaborative work. Joint events will discuss research questions such as the relationship between academies and politics in the past and present, the role and functioning of science diplomacy, or the relationship between Western and Eastern academies during the Cold War. The research takes place in the form of workshops from the thematic area.

Kungl. Vetenskaps
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Royal Society
Academy of Sciences

Akademie věd České republiky
Academy of Sciences

Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaft
Academy of Sciences

Accademia dei Lincei
Academy of Sciences

Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften

Institut de France
Academy of Sciences

Steering Committee

Claude Debru

Claude Debru is Professor of Philosophy of sciences at the Ecole normale supérieure, Paris. He has been corresponding member of the French Academy of sciences since 1993,

member since 2011 and president of the Committee for history of science and epistemology. Since 1998 Claude Debru is a Member of the Leopoldina. In 2009 he became member of the European Academy of Sciences, of which he was president in 2014. In 2012 he was appointed to the International Academy for history of science. After being named corresponding member of the French Academy of Agriculture in 2012, he received full membership in 2015. He is a member of the steering committee of the European Academies Research Initiative since 2014.

Dieter Hoffmann

Dieter Hoffmann is a German historian of science. He made numerous contributions to the history of modern physics, including works on Ernst Mach, Fritz Haber, Albert Einstein,

Max von Laue and also on Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker, whose relations with the GDR he illuminated. In 2005, as part of a project, he presented Albert Einstein's scientific achievements and their significance for modern physics in its cultural and social context, as well as his key function for modernity. The city of Berlin as an outstanding center of science and technology plays a central role in Dieter Hoffmann's research. Another focus of his work is on the social framework of scientific research in totalitarian regimes, namely during the Third Reich and in the GDR.

Heiner Fangerau

Heiner Fangerau (Prof. Dr. med., Dr. h.c.) is the director of the Department of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf. He held chairs in

the history, philosophy and ethics of medicine in Ulm (2008-2014) and Cologne (2014-2015). In 2017 he was elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He has been a member of the steering committee of the Leopoldina Centre for Science Studies since 2020.

Giovanni Paoloni

Giovanni Paoloni is a full professor at “Sapienza” – Università di Roma. He is a science historian and expert on archival theory and research policies and institutions

His special interests are history of Italian academies and the interaction of archival and library disciplines with the sciences. He has been a member of the Accademia delle Scienze dell’Istituto di Bologna since 2013, and since 2018 member of the Committee for the History of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

Uta Frith

Dame Uta Frith is Emeritus Professor in Cognitive Development at University College London. She became Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005, where she was a Council member

(2006-2007 and 2015-2018), and Chair of the Diversity Committee (2015-2018). She has been a member of the Leopoldina since 2008 and acted as one of the Senators of the academy from 2016 to 2020. She was on the advisory board of the Centre for Science Studies of the Leopoldina from 2014 to 2020 and on the steering committee of the European Academies Research Initiative from the very beginning.

Karl Grandin

Karl Grandin is the Director of and Professor at the Center for History of Science at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He chairs the History of Physics Group and the

Historic Sites Committee of the European Physical Society. Since 2006 he is the editor of the Nobel Foundation yearbook. He has been involved with EARI since 2018.

Wolfgang U. Eckart

Wolfgang U. Eckart (1952-2021) was Professor of the History of Medicine and Director at the Institute for the History and Ethics of Medicine at Heidelberg University

In 2009, Wolfgang Eckart was accepted as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He was a co-founder of the European Academies Research Initiative.

Keith Moore

Keith Moore is the Head of Library and Information Services at the Royal Society.

Johannes Feichtinger

Johannes Feichtinger is the Director of the Institute Culture Studies at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and teaches modern history at the University of Vienna.

He specializes in the history and philosophy of science, history of knowledge and culture studies. He has been elected as a Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2015 and is a member of the Steering Committee of European Academies Research Initiative since 2018.

Martin Franc

Martin Franc is director of the Department for History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, at the Masaryk Institut and Archives. He also teaches at the Charles University of Prague,

at the Faculty of Humanities. He specializes in the Science policy in Central Europe 1945-1993, Social History of Science, Food History and History of Nutrition in 18th-20th Century and History of Lifestyle and Consumption in Czechoslovakia 1948-1989. He is a member of the steering committee of the European Academies Research Initiative since 2019.

„My personal motivation to work with the initiative is that I am essentially a European first of all, and that under the present circumstances science in Europe needs badly to be strengthened.”

Claude Debru