Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

The decorated facade of the Academy Palace, Zrinski Square in Zagreb
Abbreviation HAZU
Formation 1866 in Zagreb
Type National academy
Purpose Science, arts, academics
Headquarters Zagreb, Croatia
150 full members (as of May 2014)[1]
Zvonko Kusić
Main organ
Presidency of the Academy[2]
HRK 69.1 million (€9.1 million) (2014)[3]
Interior of the Academy Palace

The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Latin: Academia Scientiarum et Artium Croatica, Croatian: Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti, abbrev. HAZU) is the national academy of Croatia. It was founded in 1866 as the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts (Jugoslavenska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti, abbrev. JAZU), and was known by that name for most of its existence.


The institution was founded in Zagreb on 29 April 1861 by the decision of the Croatian Parliament (Sabor) as the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts.[4] The bishop and benefactor Josip Juraj Strossmayer, a prominent advocate of higher education during the 19th century Croatian national romanticism, set up a trust fund for this purpose and in 1860 submitted a large donation to the then viceroy (ban) of Croatia Josip Šokčević for the cause of being able to

bring together the best minds [...] and find a way in which books in the national languages could be produced in the Slavic South; the Academy should also take under its aegis all the areas of human science[5]

After some years of deliberations by the Croatian Parliament and the Emperor Franz Joseph, it was finally sanctioned by law in 1866. The official sponsor was Josip Juraj Strossmayer, while the first Chairman of the Academy was the distinguished Croatian historian Franjo Rački.[5] Đuro Daničić was elected for secretary general of the Academy, where he played a key role in preparing the Academy's Dictionary, "Croatian or Serbian Dictionary of JAZU".

The Academy's creation was the logical extension of the University of Zagreb, the institution initially created in 1669 and also renewed by bishop Strossmayer in 1874. Bishop Strossmayer also initiated the building of the Academy Palace in the Zrinjevac park of Zagreb, and the Palace was completed in 1880.[5] In 1884, the Palace also became a host of The Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters that contained 256 works of art (mostly paintings).[5] The same is today one of the most prominent art galleries in Zagreb.

The Academy started publishing the academic journal Rad in 1867. In 1882, each of the individual scientific classes of the Academy started printing their own journals. In 1887, the Academy published the first "Ljetopis" as a year book, as well as several other publications in history and ethnology.

Ivan Supek, Mihailo Petrović, Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger and Lavoslav Ružička were JAZU members.

Name changes

The Academy briefly changed name from "Yugoslav" to "Croatian" between 1941 and 1945 during the Axis client regime of the Independent State of Croatia.

It has again been renamed "Croatian" in 1991 after Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia.


The Academy is divided into nine departments (classes):[6]

The Institute for Historical Sciences

One of the research units of the Academy is the Institute for Historical Sciences. It is located in a Renaissance villa in Dubrovnik, and holds a rich manuscript and library collection. Two peer-reviewed journals are published by the Institute, which are fully available online: Anali in Croatian and Dubrovnik Annals in English.[7]


There are four classes of members:[8]

The number of full members and corresponding members is limited to 160 each, while the maximum number of associate members is 100.[8] Number of full members per department is limited to 24. Only the full members may carry the title of "academician" (English: F.C.A., Croatian: akademik (male members) or akademkinja (female members)).


Image Chairman Term
Franjo Rački 1866–1886
Pavao Muhić 1886–1890
Josip Torbar 1890–1900
Tadija Smičiklas 1900–1914
Tomislav Maretić 1914–1918
Vladimir Mažuranić 1918–1921
Gustav Janeček 1921–1924
Gavro Manojlović 1924–1933
Albert Bazala 1933–1941
Tomo Matić 1941–1946
Andrija Štampar 1946–1958
Grga Novak 1958–1978
Jakov Sirotković 1978–1991
Ivan Supek 1991–1997
Ivo Padovan 1997–2004
Milan Moguš 2004–2010
Zvonko Kusić 2010–present


The Academy has recently been criticized to the effect that membership and activities are based on academic cronyism and political favor rather than on scientific and artistic merit.[9][10][11][12][13] In 2006 matters came to a head with the Academy's refusal to induct Dr. Miroslav Radman, an accomplished biologist, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, and an advocate of a higher degree of meritocracy and accountability in Croatian academia. His supporters within the Academy and the media decried the decision as reinforcing a politically motivated, unproductive status quo.

Dr. Ivo Banac, a Yale University professor and then a deputy in the Croatian parliament, addressed the chamber in a speech decrying a "dictatorship of mediocrity" in the Academy, while Globus columnist Boris Dežulović satirized the institution as an "Academy of stupidity and obedience." Dr. Vladimir Paar and others defended the Academy's decision, averring that it did take pains to include accomplished scientists but that, since Dr. Radman's work has mostly taken place outside Croatia, it was appropriate that he remain a Corresponding rather than a Full Member of the Academy.[14]

Nenad Ban, a distinguished molecular biologist from ETH Zurich and a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina is only a corresponding member of HAZU.[15] Ivan Đikić, an accomplished Croatian scientist, working at the Goethe University Frankfurt, and also a member of Leopoldina since 2010, has not been able to join HAZU even as an associate member, despite having more citations than the Academy's 18-member Department of Medical Sciences combined.[16][17]

From 2005 to 2007, the Department of Philological Sciences at the Academy released several declarations on the linguistic situation in Croatia, which were criticised for being nationalistically motivated rather than linguistically based.[18] [19][20]

See also

Notes and references

  2. "Presidency of the Academy". Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  3. "Izmjene i dopune financijskog plana Hrvatske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti za 2014." (PDF) (in Croatian). Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2014-09-20.
  4. The adjective "Yugoslav" was coined in mid-19th century by the movement that sought national unity of the South Slavs from Austria-Hungary with their eastern neighbors. Its extent was likely ambiguous, e.g. in whether or not it meant to include Bulgarians and Macedonians. Later the term became associated specifically with the country and peoples of Yugoslavia.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "The Founding of the Academy". Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
  6. "Classes of Academy". Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
  7. About the Institute
  8. 1 2 "Members of Academy". Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
  9. Jindra, Jelena (20 July 2010). "HAZU: najskuplji starački dom" [Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts: the most expensive retirement home] (in Croatian). Zagreb: Nacional. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  10. Pavliša, Mija (9 February 2011). "Nevjerodostojnom biografijom do članstva u HAZU: nepostojeće knjige Dunje Brozović" (in Croatian). Zagreb: T-portal. ISSN 1334-3130. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  11. Opačić, Tamara (9 February 2011). "Čija je Dunja Brozović Rončević?" (in Croatian). Zagreb: H-alter. ISSN 1847-3784. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  12. Detelj, Branko (14 February 2011). "Hrvatska akademija zadrtosti i učmalosti" [Croatian Academy of Bigotry and Stuffiness] (in Croatian). Varaždin: E-Varaž Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  13. Popović, Sofija (6 December 2011). "HAZU treba ukinuti a jezične puritance bojkotirati jer zarađuju na nacionalizmu: razgovor sa Snježanom Kordić" [Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts should be abolished and puritan linguists boycotted because they profit from nationalism: Interview with Snježana Kordić] (in Croatian). Zagreb: Nacional. pp. 64–68. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  14. "Dictatorship of Mediocrity" debate, Feral Tribune, 2006. Banac speech, Paar reply, Banac response Retrieved 2009-10-21 (Croatian)
  15. "Uspjeh: Đikića priznali i Nijemci, a u HAZU nije prošao" [Success: Đikić recognized by the Germans, but could not enter HAZU]. Večernji list. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2010-10-18. Dodao je i da je još jedan Hrvat, inače jedan od vodećih strukturalnih biologa u svijetu, Nenad Ban, takoder član Leopoldine u Razredu za biokemiju i biofiziku.
  16. "Đikić: Počašćen sam izborom u prestižnu akademiju, ali to je i obvezujuće" [Đikić: I'm honored with the election into the prestigious academy, but it is also an obligation]. Nacional (in Croatian). 29 September 2010. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 2014-10-18.
  17. "Đikić citiraniji od cijelog medicinskog razreda HAZU-a". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). 27 March 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  18. Kordić, Snježana (2005). "Komentar Izjave HAZU" [Commentary on HAZU's Declaration] (PDF). Književna republika (in Croatian). Zagreb. 3 (3–4): 226–231. ISSN 1334-1057. ZDB-ID 2122129-7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2014. (NSK).
  19. Kordić, Snježana (2007). "Akademičke bajke" [Tales by academicians] (PDF). Književna republika (in Croatian). Zagreb. 5 (5–6): 150–173. ISSN 1334-1057. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2013. (NSK).
  20. Kordić, Snježana (2007). "Kako HAZU pravi jezičnu paniku" [How HAZU makes a moral panic about language] (PDF). Književna republika (in Croatian). Zagreb. 5 (7–9): 224–229. ISSN 1334-1057. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2015. (NSK).
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