Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

The decorated facade of the Academy Palace, Zrinski Square in Zagreb
Abbreviation HAZU
Formation 1866 in Zagreb
Type National academy
Purpose/focus Science, arts, academics
Headquarters Croatia Zagreb, Croatia
Location 45°48′33″N 15°58′43″E / 45.80917°N 15.97861°E / 45.80917; 15.97861Coordinates: 45°48′33″N 15°58′43″E / 45.80917°N 15.97861°E / 45.80917; 15.97861
Membership 148 full members (as of May 2010)[1]
Chairman Zvonko Kusić
Main organ Presidency of the Academy[2]
Budget HRK 76.7 million (€10.5 million) (2010)[3]
Website Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Interior of the Academy Palace

The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Latin: Academia Scientiarum et Artium Croatica, Croatian: Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti, abbrev. HAZU) is the national academy of Croatia. It was founded in 1866 as the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts (Jugoslavenska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti, abbrev. JAZU), and was known by that name for most of its existence.



The institution was founded in Zagreb in 1866 as the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts.[4] The bishop and benefactor Josip Juraj Strossmayer, a prominent advocate of higher education during the 19th century Croatian national romanticism, set up a trust fund for this purpose and in 1860 submitted a large donation to the then viceroy (ban) of Croatia Josip Šokčević for the cause of being able to

bring together the best minds [...] and find a way in which books in the national languages could be produced in the Slavic South; the Academy should also take under its aegis all the areas of human science[5]

After some years of deliberations by the Croatian Parliament and the Emperor Franz Joseph, it was finally sanctioned by law in 1866. The official sponsor was Josip Juraj Strossmayer, while the first Chairman of the Academy was the distinguished Croatian historian Franjo Rački.[5] Đuro Daničić was elected for secretary general of the Academy, where he played a key role in preparing the Academy's Dictionary, "Croatian or Serbian Dictionary of JAZU".

The Academy's creation was the logical extension of the University of Zagreb, the institution initially created in 1669 and also renewed by bishop Strossmayer in 1874. Bishop Strossmayer also initiated the building of the Academy Palace in the Zrinjevac park of Zagreb, and the Palace was completed in 1880.[5] In 1884, the Palace also became a host of The Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters that contained 256 works of art (mostly paintings).[5] The same is today one of the most prominent art galleries in Zagreb.

The Academy published the scientific magazine Rad (Croatian for "work") between 1867 and 1882, when each of the individual scientific classes of the Academy started printing their own magazines. A total of almost five hundred issues have been printed up to now. In 1887, the Academy published the first "Ljetopis" as a year book, as well as several other publications in history and ethnology.

Ivan Supek, Mihailo Petrović, Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger and Lavoslav Ružička were JAZU members.

Name changes

The Academy briefly changed name from "Yugoslav" to "Croatian" between 1941 and 1945 during the Axis client regime of the Independent State of Croatia.

It was permanently renamed "Croatian" in 1991 after Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia.


The Academy is divided into nine departments (classes):[6]

  • Department of Social Sciences
  • Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences
  • Department of Natural Sciences
  • Department of Medical Sciences
  • Department of Philological Sciences
  • Department of Literature
  • Department of Fine Arts
  • Department of Music and Musicology
  • Department of Technical Sciences


There are four classes of members:[7]

  • Full members
  • Associate members
  • Honorary members
  • Corresponding members

The number of full members and corresponding members is limited to 160 each, while the maximum number of associate members is 100.[7] Number of full members per department is limited to 24. Only the full members may carry the title of "academician" (English: F.C.A., Croatian: akademik (male members) or akademkinja (female members)).


Image Chairman Term
Franjo Rački photo.JPG Franjo Rački 1866-1886
Pavao Muhić 1886-1890
Josip Torbar 1890-1900
Tadija Smičiklas.jpg Tadija Smičiklas 1900-1914
Tomislav Maretic.JPG Tomislav Maretić 1914-1918
Vladimir Mažuranić 1918-1921
Gustav Janečak 1921-1924
Gavro Majnolović 1924-1933
Albert Bazala 1933-1941
Tomo Matić 1941-1946
Andrija Štampar 1946-1958
Grga Novak 1958-1978
Jakov Sirotković 1978-1991
Ivan Supek 1991-1997
Ivo Padovan 1997-2004
HAZU 71 Milan Mogus 17 lipnja 2008.jpg Milan Moguš 2004-2010
Zvonko Kusić 2010-present


The Academy has recently been criticized to the effect that membership and activities are based on academic cronyism and political favor rather than on scientific and artistic merit. In 2006 matters came to a head with the Academy's refusal to induct Dr. Miroslav Radman, an accomplished biologist, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, and an advocate of a higher degree of meritocracy and accountability in Croatian academia. His supporters within the Academy and the media decried the decision as reinforcing a politically-motivated, unproductive status quo.

Dr. Ivo Banac, a Yale University professor and then a deputy in the Croatian parliament, addressed the chamber in a speech decrying a "dictatorship of mediocrity" in the Academy, while Globus columnist Boris Dežulović satirized the institution as an "Academy of stupidity and obedience." Dr. Vladimir Paar and others defended the Academy's decision, averring that it did take pains to include accomplished scientists but that, since Dr. Radman's work has mostly taken place outside Croatia, it was appropriate that he remain a Corresponding rather than a Full Member of the Academy[8]

Ivan Đikić, an accomplished Croatian scientist, working at the Goethe University Frankfurt, and as of 2010 a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, had previously not been able to join HAZU even as an associate member.[9] Nenad Ban, a distinguished molecular biologist from ETH Zurich, is another member of Leopoldina who has not been admitted to HAZU.[10]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ (Croatian)
  2. ^ "Presidency of the Academy". Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  3. ^ "Financijski plan Hrvatske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti za 2010. godinu" (in Croatian) (PDF). Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  4. ^ The adjective "Yugoslav" was coined in mid-19th century by the movement that sought national unity of the South Slavs from Austria-Hungary with their eastern neighbors. Its extent was likely ambiguous, e.g. in whether or not it meant to include Bulgarians and Macedonians. Later the term became associated specifically with the country and peoples of Yugoslavia.
  5. ^ a b c d "The Founding of the Academy". Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  6. ^ "Classes of Academy". Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  7. ^ a b "Members of Academy". Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  8. ^ "Dictatorship of Mediocrity" debate, Feral Tribune, 2006. Banac speech, Paar reply, Banac response Retrieved 2009-10-21 (Croatian)
  9. ^ "Đikić: Počašćen sam izborom u prestižnu akademiju, ali to je i obvezujuće [Đikić: I'm honored with the election into the prestigious academy, but it is also an obligation]" (in Croatian). Nacional. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  10. ^ "Uspjeh: Đikića priznali i Nijemci, a u HAZU nije prošao [Success: Đikić recognized by the Germans, but could not enter HAZU]". Večernji list. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2010-10-18. "Dodao je i da je još jedan Hrvat, inače jedan od vodećih strukturalnih biologa u svijetu, Nenad Ban, takoder član Leopoldine u Razredu za biokemiju i biofiziku." 

External links

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