The present-day Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) in its work continues the research traditions and mission not only of the former Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences but also of its predecessors. The oldest long-lasting learned society was the Royal Czech Society of Sciences (founded in 1784) which encompassed both the humanities and the natural sciences. As early as 1861-1863 Jan Evangelista PurkynnÄ proposed in his treatise Academia the establishment of an autonomous non-university scientific institution associating research institutes representing the main fields of the science of that time. This idea of an institution engaged in interdisciplinary research corresponds to the concept and structure of the present Academy of Sciences.
By the end of the 19th century, language-differentiated scientific institutions arose: the Czech Academy of Science and the Arts in 1890 and the Association for the Fostering of German Science, Arts and Literature in Bohemia in 1891 were established. The Czech Academy of Science and the Arts was founded owing to the significant financial support from the Czech architect and builder, Josef Hlávka who became its first President. The aim of this institution was to promote the development of Czech science and literature and to support Czech arts. The most important work of this Academy was its publication activities. Scholarships and financial support were also provided and smaller research units arose upon its initiative as well.