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What is the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 January 2018
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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, also known as Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien, is a non-governmental organization that promotes scientific disciplines, especially the natural sciences and mathematics. It is also a place for researchers to get support and to access exclusive research environments that may otherwise not be available to them.

The Academy was started in 1739 by a group of scientists, including naturalist Carl Linnaeus and mechanical engineer Mårten Triewald, under the direction of King Frederick I. It was modeled after similar royal societies in London and Paris.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences runs two museums: the Observatory Museum, which holds a collection of scientific instruments from the 18th century, and the Berzelius Museum, which contains personal items from the personal collection of Jöns Jakob Berzelius, a renowned Swedish chemist. It also runs a series of research institutes such as the Abisko Scientific Research Station, which conducts geological and meteorological studies in the Arctic, and the Kristineberg Marine Research Station. The Academy also auspices several independent research institutes such as the Institute for Solar Physics, which is associated with Stockholm University.

Alfred Nobel, a Swedish scientist and the inventor of dynamite, was responsible for the creation of the Nobel Foundation, which operates through the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Each year, the Academy presents the Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry, plus the award in Economic Sciences. It also heads the selection board in several areas of the Nobel Prizes. The group also awards several other prizes and scholarships, including the Crawford Prize for research in astronomy and other sciences, and the Rolf Schock Prizes for achievements in philosophy and the visual arts.

The Academy publishes several scientific journals, including Ambio, known as "the Journal of the Human Environment." The journals are distributed to over 100 countries around the world, and are also available online in both English and Chinese versions.

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