Mission of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

The new mission of the Academy was passed with a 93% majority during the 192nd Extraordinary General Assembly on 2 December 2019. The mission includes the guidance of all scientific sections as well as suggestions from members of the public body. The document was finalised by the Presidium of the Academy on 17 December 2019. Following is the final version of the document.

True to the intention of its founder, István Széchenyi, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has been at the service of knowledge, the Hungarian nation and universal science for nearly two centuries, continuously refining its mission. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences works for the advancement of Hungary; it aims to strengthen its security and improve the living standards, competencies and the access to knowledge for all Hungarians. The mission of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is rooted in its centuries-old traditions, the achievements of Hungarian science, the Academy’s authority established by the Academy Law and its responsibility to fulfil its duties. All activities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences are based on the greatest appreciation for scientific facts, the principles and methods of science and a dedication to serve the Hungarian nation.

  1. The Academy is a public association which includes and represents the Hungarian scientific community

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences includes the Hungarian scientific community in its entirety and represents its interests at home and abroad. As a public association with a membership of 17,000 strong, the Academy is open to any Hungarian researcher who holds a scientific degree.

The Academy embodies the unity of Hungarian science: it assembles and represents Hungarian science within and beyond the country’s borders and across the domains of the social sciences and the humanities, the life sciences and the natural sciences. It unites science and scientists from research institutes, universities and the business sector and mobilises various generations of scientists. The Academy engages in all fields of science except for theology, which does not fall within its remit.

  1. The Academy is the guardian of the Hungarian language and the custodian of the nation’s scientific and cultural heritage

Established by the Hungarian nation, the Academy’s paramount duty is to “sustain, promote and cultivate Hungarian identity and language”, as declared by its founder, István Széchenyi. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences aims to study, preserve and develop Hungarian cultural heritage and national identity. It is committed to developing and cultivating scientific terminology in the Hungarian language.

Beyond its engagement in universal and global science, the Academy is devoted to the study of the natural, historical, social and economic phenomena of Hungary, the Pannonian Basin and the region.

  1. The Academy supports the advancement of scientific research in Hungary and represents the interests of Hungarian science

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences regularly reviews the standing of scientific research in Hungary. It participates in identifying the most important research fields of the present and takes part in the renewal of national strategies for research, development and innovation. The Academy promotes cooperation among research activities conducted at universities, research institutes and industry.

The Academy aims to introduce the Hungarian scientific public to the latest developments and trends in international science in all disciplines and science policy. It supports the involvement of the Hungarian research community in international collaborations in science and science policy.

The Academy is an advocate of excellence in science. It runs programmes of excellence and provides additional support for Hungarian researchers to improve their success rates in international research calls.

The Academy is committed to the development of a trustworthy research career scheme which is able to offer clear-cut conditions and opportunities for young researchers and prioritises measures which promote the careers of female scientists. This career scheme includes a comprehensive programme of scientific degrees and titles, a healthy balance in research and teaching duties coupled with its legal and economic conditions. It also strikes a balance between research activities abroad and in Hungary, and includes the maintenance of a system of fellowships and grants.

The Academy is engaged in the development of primary school, secondary school and higher education, and is devoted to an improvement in training for the next generation of researchers.

The Academy promotes the publication and dissemination of Hungarian scientific results and provides open access to research achievements. It monitors the availability of publication channels for researchers and takes every measure to ensure proper publication opportunities.

  1. The Academy is the custodian of scientific excellence and the ethical conduct of science

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences protects the freedom of scientific research and scientific opinion as values declared by the Fundamental Law of Hungary. The Academy safeguards the independence of science from external influences.

The Academy is committed to establishing and operating a national scheme to ensure the compliance of Hungarian science with international standards of scientific integrity, and considers its implementation as an indispensable condition for sustaining the authority of scientists and the credibility of scientific results.

In accordance with the principles set out in its mission, the Academy surveys the progress of all scientific fields in Hungary, and evaluates each field’s performance with an eye on international advances in science.

The academic title “Doctor of the Academy”, as awarded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, offers a system of quality assurance governed by uniform rules in compliance with international requirements, and is maintained by highly qualified experts. It is the responsibility of the Academy to strengthen its relevance and prestige.

Regular evaluation, which is applied with international standards by research performing organisations, including research institutes and research units, is an essential requirement for the promotion of excellence and efficiency of any science system. In its reports submitted to the House of Parliament, as well as upon individual request, the Academy prepares an assessment of the performance of Hungarian research performing organisations operating in academia or in other sectors.

  1. The Academy is committed to expanding the international relations of Hungarian science, to improving the visibility of its achievements and to representing its interests on the international scene

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences supports international cooperation in scientific research and science policy issues and promotes the distribution of scientific results and the latest achievements in science policy. It participates in international collaborations to find solutions to environmental, societal and economic challenges of a regional or global nature and contributes to the formulation and implementation of the research agenda of the European Union.

The Academy is dedciated to supporting scientific research in the Hungarian language or with Hungarian relevance, and encourages the involvement of scientists from abroad, in particular the external members of the Academy, to be involved in such research.

Through its activities in science diplomacy, the Academy is committed to promoting and creating a positive image about the Hungarian scientific community and Hungary. In this endeavour it relies on the World Science Forum, its partnerships with international associations of science academies and other forms of international cooperation.

  1. The Academy is the nation’s chief advisor

The knowledge included in the association of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is readily available for the Hungarian nation and its governments to help formulate informed policies. To fulfil its duty of providing scientific advice on policy issues also declared by Academy Law, the Academy seeks to establish a comprehensive platform for cooperation with the government, national research stakeholders, the development and innovation system, the education system and with society at large. To this end, the Academy is also prepared to employ its expertise in the bodies which draw up the national science policy.

  1. The Academy communicates science to the public

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences is devoted to the cause of disseminating the achievements and results of science to the public. It promotes the scientific method and encourages critical thinking. Therefore, the Academy provides a point of reference which is equally relevant for the general public and the policymaker, and it strengthens the attractiveness of careers in science.

The Academy opposes any form of pseudo-science and views and beliefs lacking a solid scientific argument. To combat these views, the Academy raises awareness regarding the importance of the scientific method and the achievements of science.