Brief summary on the creation of the Academy

The exact date of the foundation of the Academy is not very precise. The most immediate precedent of its creation is the Act 322 dated on 11 September of the year 1869. This act authorized the Government to “… hire from and/or outside of the country, up to twenty professors who will be devoted to the teaching of special sciences at the University of Córdoba and national schools…”.

It was only until 1870 when the first foreigners began to settle in Córdoba, mostly teachers coming from Germany. The professors hired by the government had the responsibility to teach natural and exact sciences and to carry out scientific research in the country.

After some upheavals, on June 22 of the year 1878 the Government approved by decree, the bylaws of the National Academy of Sciences, which gave it its final organization as a scientific corporation, independent of the National University of Córdoba, and freeing it of teaching responsibilities.

Since its inception, the institution focused on the development and communication of exact and natural sciences, the study and exploration of the country and to advise the national government, the provincial governments and other scientific institutions, in the areas of its disciplines. This lasted until 1920 when, due to budgetary constraints, funding for scientific research was abandoned, limiting its activities to keep the publications on the basis of work done by scientists and academics but without financial support from the Academy. Since 1955 part of the main objective of the Academy, that is, the scientific activities, was transferred to other agencies of the state, such as the CONICET (National Research Council), INTA (National Institute of Agricultural Technology) and CONAE (National Commission for Aerospace Activities).

With such limitations, the Academy continued producing its own publications that constitute the basis of the exchange it has with other scientific institutions both Argentine and foreign. In this way the Academy worked as a cloistered entity with scarce public projection, keeping itself as such until 1992. Since then, the social function of the Academy started to be reconsidered. Therefore, now the Academy has opened to society, offering its infrastructure and possessions for public use, including children and adolescents.

Therefore, the National Academy of Sciences carried out a continuous task towards an Argentine science and technology policy, and the development and dissemination of knowledge through the publication of scientific papers (of its members and other scientists), the granting of awards, conducting various activities directed to schools of all levels, the library service, its educational video library, and the organization of symposia and conferences.

The building of the National Academy of Sciences was inaugurated in 1889 and declared National Historical Monument in the year 1994 by the Act No. 24.414.