The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) has the oldest roots of all scientific institutions in Slovenia. Its origins can be tracked back to the seventeenth century and to the Academia Operosorum, founded in 1693. A predecessor of SASA, the ranks of this society comprised the most eminent churchmen and lay intelectuals, noblemen and bourgeoise. Its activities ended approximately in 1725. More than half a century later, in 1779, it was renewed, yet it was active only for a very short time. From the end of the eighteenth century onwards there was no Academy in Slovenia. In the second half of the nineteenth century serious efforts were made to establish an Academy, but it materialized only in 1938 as a national instititution with the nomination of the first eighteen ordinary members. During World War II, the Academy continued with its activities, and after the war it was definitely renamed Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. From the original four Sections it expanded to five and later to six Sections, and new institutes and institutions were also established. Through the years 1945 – 1958, all technical institutes became independent. The Academy retained institutes covering the humanities, social sciences and partly natural sciences, which in 1981 became independent and merged into the Scientific Research Centre (SRC) of SASA. The institutes within the framework of this Centre, are implementing, jointly with the Academy, primarily a research program devoted to study the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Slovenian Nation, the research of the national identity both, in the past and in the present. The Law promulgated in 1994 grants SASA autonomy and the freedom of democratic conduct. Today, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts is the supreme national institution of sciences and arts in the country, and associates scientists and artists who have been elected as its members for their outstanding achievements in those fields.