Ministero dei Beni delle Attivitą Culturali e del Turismo Direzione Generale Biblioteche e Istituti Culturali

Societas Regia Scientiarum

Societas Regia ScientiarumThe Academy of Sciences of Berlin originated from a project by the great german philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), who wanted to establish an academy inspired by the french model but freed from any state control, with a large extent of autonomy instead.

Through its institution Leibniz aspired to the spread of German language, the study of sciences, the expansion of industry and trade as well as the radiation of christianity through universal science.

Based on this project, the academy was established on 11 July 1700 under the name of Societas Regia Scientiarum, supported by Frederick I, Elector (then King) of Brandenburg-Prussia. The Academy saw its full approval on January 19, 1711. Frederick II who reorganized the structure, called in 1746, at the suggestion of Voltaire (1694-1778), Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (1698-1759) as director.The Academy was renamed Königliche Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences).

Maupertuis contributed to a remarkable French influence on German culture. For instance french was the official language of the Academy. The Academy of Sciences disposed its own anatomical theater, botanical garden, natural history collections and collections of scientific instruments. Among the most prominent members: Jean Bernoulli (1667-1748), Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), Joseph Louis Lagrange (1736 to 1813).