The Pontifical Academy of Sciences seeks to pay honour to pure science, wherever it is found, to assure its freedom and to promote its research. The Academy was founded in Rome in 1603 by Federico Cesi, Jan Heck, Francesco Stelluti and Anastasio De Filiis. It was originally called the Academy of the Lincei, then the Pontifical Academy of the New Lincei. On October 28th 1936, Pope Pius XI granted it new Statutes and the name it has today. The latest Statute was approved by Pope Paul VI on April 1st 1976. The academic body comprises 80 Academicians chosen from among the world’s most famous scientists. The Pope appoints the members of the Academy, including the perdurante munere and Honorary Academicians who are so named because of the services they have rendered to the Academy.
It is the only Academy of Sciences in the world that operates beyond national boundaries. It is located in the Casina of Pius IV in the Vatican Gardens.