The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is distinctive in its kind because it is the only supranational academy of sciences in the world. Founded in Rome on 17 August 1603 as the first exclusively scientific academy in the world by Federico Cesi, Giovanni Heck, Francesco Stelluti and Anastasio de Filiis with the name Linceorum Academia, to which Galileo Galilei was appointed member on 25 August 1610, it was reestablished in 1847 by Pius IX with the name Pontificia Accademia dei Nuovi Lincei. It was moved to its current headquarters in the Casina Pio IV in the Vatican Gardens in 1922, and given its current name and statutes by Pius XI in 1936.
Its mission is to honour pure science wherever it may be found, ensure its freedom and encourage research for the progress of science.
The Academy is governed by a President with the assistance of the Council. Its 80 Pontifical Academicians are appointed for life by the Holy Father following proposals by the Academic body and chosen without any form of ethnic or religious discrimination from the most eminent scientists and scholars of the mathematical and experimental sciences of every country of the world. 36 countries are currently represented. They participate in study groups and meetings organized by the Academy to examine specific issues. Their deliberations and scientific papers are published by the Academy or jointly with other publishers.