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The Academy today

Looking from a global perspective, academies of sciences are not homogeneous. They differ in their aims, in methods of their activities, and in their importance within the system of studies and research of their countries. Still, the overall mission of all academies of sciences is focused on rallying the most outstanding researchers and undertaking initiatives that would enhance the country’s well-being and scientific, social, cultural, and economic development. Academies are also united by traditional objectives: consistent encouragement of high-level studies and scientific research, cultivation of critical scientific thinking among the general public, nurturing of academic and scholarly freedom and the ethics of scientific research.

The Lithuanian Academy of Sciences carries out its mission by ensuring permanent and active propagation of education and research. This is achieved through a variety of forms: thematic conferences, meetings, seminars, and discussions. These are organised not only among the academy members but also between the academy and other institutions of research and studies both domestically and abroad.
The dispersion of education and research, which is crucial for progress, is always international and encompasses publishing.

Scientific deliberations are effective only when they are joined by all outstanding scientists in the country. For this reason, a number of aspects are important in the selection of academy members and in its activities. The key criterion in the selection of academy members is their research achievements. The academy must attract as many young, creative, and innovative researchers as possible. However, the initiative and creativity of the academy members, their experience in research organisation, dispersion of research results, and their expert experience are of no lesser importance. For the country’s entire scientific elite to participate in the activities of the academy, it is necessary to expand cooperation between the members of the academy and those who are not its members yet are its genuine reserve.

Another important field of activity is the encouragement of talented researchers and of scientific research in every possible way. Nowadays, although members of the academy conduct research in independent universities and research centres, the academy and its members can have a significant impact on the country’s research policies and development. Along with the commemorative, young researchers’, and students’ recognition prizes, the academy has instituted more measures stimulating the country’s scientists and scientific research. Since 2004, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences has coordinated the cooperation of the country’s scientists with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and has promoted the participation of young researchers at the meetings of Nobel Prize laureates. Since 2010, the Academy has held a competition for 15 annual scholarships for the country’s young researchers.

Provision of expertise and advice is the third sphere of the Academy's activities. Although at first sight it might appear that this is the most obvious and probably the most important function of the academy, it encompasses serious challenges to the independent and objective nature of science, for it is highly important to never violate the balance between academic freedom and responsibility. International cooperation and maintaining of international relations is another highly important field. The academy has signed cooperation treaties with 27 foreign academies of sciences.

In 2018, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences founded the Young Academy of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. There are over 40 Young Academies and Young Scientists’ Associations around the world and they are united by the Global Young Academy founded in 2008. The Young Academy operates within the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences: a separate division has been established for its members with the aim of creating the best possible conditions for the development of their scientific and organisational work.

JŪRAS BANYS
President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences


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