History of the Swedish Academy of Sciences
The Academy of Sciences was founded in 1739. Its foundation was a typical phenomenon of the time, as learned societies became fashionable in 18th century Europe.
The Academy’s goal was from the beginning to “in Sweden build up and spread knowledge in mathematics, natural sciences, economics, trade and useful arts and manufactures”. The academy would provide support for research and scientific development. In a longer perspective, such a development would strengthen Sweden’s economy.
Accessible papers that were written in simple Swedish were published in the Academy’s proceedings, Handlingarna. Among the Academy’s first members were Carl Linnaeus, Anders Celsius, Anders Johan von Höpken and Christopher Polhem.
The Academy’s current structure with the task of promoting the sciences, mainly mathematics and science, was formed by the famous chemist Jacob Berzelius in the 1820s. Berzelius was the Academy’s Permanent Secretary from 1818 to 1848.