The Latvian Academy of Sciences is Latvia’s national academy of sciences dedicated to the promotion of science and high-quality research, the study and development of the history, culture and language of Latvian people and the state, Latvia’s natural resources and environment, and to advise the government and the public about socially relevant scientific issues.
The present-day Latvian Academy of Sciences (LAS) in its work continues the research traditions of several scientific associations, which existed in Latvia in the 19th century, and the former Academy of Sciences (1946-1991). The oldest predecessors to the LAS were the Kurzeme Society for Literature and Art (Kurländische Gesellschaft für Literatur und Kunst), which was founded in 1815 in Jelgava and functioned as the first regional academy of science in the Baltic States, and the Commission of Knowledge, founded within the Riga Latvian Society in 1869 and later transformed into the Science Committee with the status of a private academy of sciences (1932-1940). On January 14, 1936, by the Cabinet’s Act, the Institute of History of Latvia was founded as the first constituent part of this Academy. In Latvia, the Academy of Sciences started its work on February 14, 1946, when academy members gathered for their first General Meeting. The Academy of Sciences of the Latvian SSR was both an aggregate of prominent scientists and large research institutes (15 altogether) and it functioned also as the highest administrative structure of research.