Polish Academy of Sciences

The Polish Academy of Sciences

The Polish Academy of Sciences (Polska Akademia Nauk) was founded in 1952. However Poland had academies at a much earlier date with the Polska Akademia Umiejetnosci being founded in Cracow in 1816. Even the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences was established before the Academy:-

From the very beginning, [the Polish Academy of Sciences] has functioned as a learned society acting through an elected corporation of top scholars and research organizations, via its numerous scientific establishments. It has also become a major scientific advisory body through its scientific committees.

The rules of the Academy were changed by a Parliamentary Act on 25 April 1997. It is governed by a General Assembly which consists of all national members. National members, on which there is placed an upper limit of 350, are elected by the General Assembly. The Academy as now set up has seven divisions. Division III contains Mathematical, Physical, and Chemical Sciences. Each division has a chairman and these, together with the president and three vice-presidents, sit on a board which deals with strategic issues.

As we mentioned above, the Institute of Mathematics was founded before the Academy. The government set up the Institute of Mathematics on 20 November 1948 as the State Mathematical Institute. In fact had it not been for World War II, the Institute would almost certainly have been set up much earlier. Janiszewski had made the case for Polish mathematics concentrating on its areas of strength when he wrote his report at the end of World War I. In 1936 a committee was set up by the Polish Academy of Learning to look at the way forward for Polish science. Kuratowski became secretary to the mathematics committee and his report was made in 1937. He recommended that the time had come to go beyond the era of concentrating on strengths, proposed by Janiszewski, and to develop across the whole of the mathematical spectrum. The recommendations of the report was to set up two research institutes, one for pure mathematics and one for applied mathematics. World War II prevented the implementation of the report.

At the end of World War II the whole educational system was destroyed and had to be completely rebuilt. It was Kuratowski, Borsuk and Knaster who, through the Polish Mathematical Society, set about arguing for the implementation of the recommendations of the 1937 report. The planned two research institutes, one for pure mathematics and one for applied mathematics, were merged in a plan for a single mathematics institute, divided into sections which correspond to the particular areas of mathematics. This new plan was accepted by the government in 1948. Kuratowski was appointed the Director of the Institute of Mathematics in 1949.

The main Institute of Mathematics was established in Warsaw but branches of the Institute were set up in Cracow, Gdansk, Katowice, Lódz, Poznan, Torun and Wroclaw. In 1972 the International Stefan Banach Centre was established as part of the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The Centre hosts workshops and conferences in which young mathematicians participate together with specialists from many countries.

From the time the Institute of Mathematics was established it had a publications department to coordinate mathematical publications in Poland. The Academy publishes important mathematics journals through this publications department. The Bulletin de l'Académie Polonaise des Sciences. Série des Sciences Mathématiques, Astronomiques et Physiques was split and the mathematics part formed a separate journal named L'Académie Polonaise des Sciences. Bulletin. Série des Sciences Mathématiques. It was later renamed the Bulletin of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Mathematics and is currently the Polish Academy of Sciences. Bulletin. Mathematics.

Other Institutes publish journals relevant to mathematics, for example the Polish Academy of Sciences. Institute of Fundamental Technological Research. Archives of Mechanics (Archiwum Mechaniki Stosowanej).


List of References (4 books/articles)

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JOC/EFR August 2004 School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland
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