History

 

The National Academy of Sciences of Georgia

Historical survey

The National Academy of Sciences of Georgia (previously: the Georgian Academy of Sciences) was founded by a resolution # 183 of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Georgian SSR in February 10, 1941. The foundations for this important state decision were prepared by the advances of the national education and science in the XIX-XX centuries as well as a long and rich history of the spiritual culture of the Georgian people. It is quite natural that the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia is a legal successor of the Ikalto and Gelati academies in its content and function. Over the centuries, the Georgian nation has created a cultural integrity characteristic only for her, which is an integral part of the immortal treasure of humanity. The main core of the historical competitiveness of our nation has always been a high intellectual potential and indigenous cultural traditions. The awareness of the aforementioned advantage has protected the Georgians from both physical destruction and assimilation.

In Georgia, the development of scientific and creative thinking has a rich past, which is reflected in the extremely intensive and fruitful activities of our people in the field of spiritual culture. the history has retained information about the existence of the Colchis rhetorical school (the Academy) in the III-IV centuries near Phasis (now Poti). Despite the constant struggle against external enemies and misfortunes that accompanied the historical life of Georgia, the Georgian people managed to preserve and convey their rich cultural heritage to this day.

Many centuries ago, prominent Georgian thinkers created and translated original literature in the centers of Georgian educational and scientific activities that existed in Georgia and abroad at different times. In hard times for the country, monasteries abroad became the main centers of development of Georgian culture. Georgian monasteries on Mount Sinai (6th century), in Palestine (V.), near Antioch on Black Mountain (11th century), Athos (980-983) and Petritsoni (1083). It was in these centers that the best representatives of the nation got acquainted with advanced Christian and Eastern culture, science and literature of that time, developed and enriched the national cultural heritage.

In these centers labored Petre Iberi, John Cinel, Hilarion of Georgia, John Inchem, John, Ekvtime and George Mtatsmindeli, Ephraim Small, John Petriti, Arsen Ikaltoel and many others. The rich literature created as a result of their creativity demonstrates the high level of development of Georgian philosophical and scholarly thought, its important role in the creation of a universal culture.

Beautiful architectural structures, rock-hewn towns, roads and bridges, complex irrigation systems, achievements in ancient metallurgy, mining and construction, agriculture and other spheres of production clearly indicate the development of applied knowledge in Georgia in the distant past.

Georgian thinkers made an important contribution to the development of medieval theological and philosophical thought (Peter the Iberian, Arsen Iqaltoeli, Ephrem Mtsire, Ioane Petritsi). The real crown of the development of creative and social thought of the Middle Ages was Shota Rustaveli’s genius poem  “Vepkhistqaosani” (The Knight in the Panther’s Skin), which with its cutting-edge ideas and humanitarian outlook was ahead of its era; it showed the features of a European renaissance in advance.

In the course of centuries, Georgia was distinguished by a high level of development in philosophy, historiography, poetics, law and legislation, as well as mathematics, astronomy, geography, medicine and other fields of science.

In the 19th century, the Caucasian Museum, the first Observatory and other establishments were founded in Tbilisi. A little bit earlier the Tbilisi Botanical Garden was founded. All these establishments were later turned into a large scientific institution and for a long time remained a part of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia.

In 1907, the Georgian Historical-Ethnographic Society was founded on the initiative of Ekvtime Takaishvili. The Society united prominent representatives of the Georgian intelligentsia and began an active work on the identification, study and protection of ancient Georgian historical monuments.

The direct predecessors who paved the way for the establishment of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia were the Tbilisi State University (actually, all the founders of the Academy were university professors) and on the other hand, the Georgian branch of the All-Union Academy of Sciences, which was the first attempt to organize the national science. The Academy of Sciences of Georgia, as an organized union of Georgian scientists, was founded on February 10, 1941. The schools of Mathematics, Psychology, Physiology and Oriental Studies already existing in the country received their further development in the system of Academy. The direction of Georgian Studies (Kartvelology) was also developed.

All nine scientific institutions of the Georgian branch of the All-Union Academy of Sciences, as well as the State Museum of Georgia, the Institute of Geology, the I. Beritashvili Institute of Physiology, the laboratories of Psychology and the former Institute of Physics at the Tbilisi University entered the Academy of Sciences of Georgia. In addition to the above, the Academy of Art History of Georgia was transferred to the Academy under the People’s Commissariat for Education and the Psychology Laboratory were immediately transformed into a sector. Thus, since its foundation, 14 research institutions have been united in the system of Academy.

The founders of the Academy were:

Giorgi Akhvlediani (Linguistics)

Ivane Beritashvili (Physiology)

Kiriak Zavierev (Construction Mechanics)

Philip Zaitsev (Zoology)

Aleksandre Tvalchrelidze (Mineralogy, Petrography)

Korneli Kekelidze (Philology)

Nikoloz Ketskhoveli (Botany)

Taras Kvaratskhelia (Subtropical Crops)

Nikoloz Muskhelishvili (Mathematics, Mechanics)

Dimitri Uznadze (Psychology)

Akaki Shanidze (Linguistics)

Arnold Chikobava (Linguistics)

Giorgi Chubinashvili (Art)

Giorgi Khachapuridze (History)

Simon Janashia (History)

Aleksandre Janelidze (Geology)

The first sixteen elected members of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia worked in two departments of the Academy:

  • Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences;
  • Department of Social Sciences.

Academician Nikoloz Muskhelishvili was elected as the first president of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. He was at the head of the Academy for 30 years (1941-1972). In 1972-1977, the president of the Academy was Academician Ilia Vekua,in 1978-1986 – academician Evgeni Kharadze, in 1987-2004 – academician Albert Tavkhelidze. From 2005 to 2013 academician Thomas V. Gamkrelidze headed the Academy. Since June 19, 2013 till present, academician Giorgi Kvesitadze is the President of the Academy.

Currently there are 64 academicians and 24 corresponding members at the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia.

There are nine scientific departments  at the Academy:

Department of Mathematics and Physics

Department of Earth Sciences

Department of Applied Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Energy and Management

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology

Department of Biological Sciences

Department of Physiology and Medicine

Department of Agricultural Sciences

Department of Social Sciences

Department of Language, Literature and Art

The scientific structural units of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia are:

  • I. Abashidze Main Scientific Editorial Board “Georgian Encyclopedia”
  • G.Tsereteli Committeefor Academic Edition of “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” and “Thesaurusof the Georgian Language
  • Council of Young Scientists at the Academic Council of the NAS of Georgia

Georgian National Academy of Sciences is one of the symbols of Georgian statehood, which symbolizes the intellectual sustainability of the nation.

The Academy of Sciences is subject to the state law according to the state law and it has the status of “scientific advisor of the government of Georgia”. All research institutes submit annual scientific reports to the Academy of Sciences. According to the law, the Academy carries out an expert assessment of the scientific activities of scientific structural units under different subordination. At present, the departments of the Academy and applied-research commissions under the Presidium of the Academy, which cover many important areas of the science, have the function of scientific units. There are following commissions at the Presidium:

– Permanent Commission for Study of National Issues;

– Commission for Georgian Historical Sources;

– Permanent Commission on Scientific Support in Land Fund Management;

– Commission for Studying the History of Religion and Christian Theology;

– Commission for the Study of the Topical Issues of Medicine in Georgia;

– Commission studying the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear safety issues;

– Interdepartmental Commission for Natural Resources Protection and Rational Use;

– Commission for Study of Natural Disasters;

– Commission for Study of the population of Georgia (Caucasus);

– Commission for Integrated Study of Georgia’s Highlands;

– Coordinating Commission for the History of Natural Sciences and Techniques;

– Commission studying the issues of the development of transplantology in Georgia.

In the modern world in the conditions of post-industrial development, the concentration and sale of intellectual capital are the main condition for development. Accordingly, the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia continues to successfully fulfill its historical obligations today.

Currently, the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia closely cooperates with many academies and universities abroad. They are:

  1. The British Academy of Sciences
  2. The University of Athens (Greece)
  3. The French National Center for Scientific Research
  4. The Polish Academy of Sciences
  5. The Austrian Academy of Sciences
  6. UNESCO
  7. Baku State University
  8. The Yantai Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone
  9. The Don State Technical University
  10. The Chinese company “Linyi Top Network Co., Ltd.”
  11. The National Engineering Academy of Kazakhstan
  12. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  13. The Turkish Academy of Sciences
  14. The Romanian Academy of Sciences
  15. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  16. The Israel Academy of Sciences
  17. The Estonian Academy of Sciences
  18. The Latvian Academy of Sciences
  19. The Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan
  20. The Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology
  21. The Khazar University, Baku.

 

Special relationships have developed with the scientific community of China. In 2015, the Chinese-Georgian Biotechnology Laboratory was solemnly opened in the university city of Yantai, which is an unprecedented event in the Georgian reality. The opening was attended by party and state officials and the Central Television of China twice covered this fact. From the Georgian side, the opening was attended by the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia, an academician. G. Kvesitadze and Georgian scientists from the laboratory, who were there all the time. The representatives of the Chinese side regularly visit the Academy and discuss the prospects of the laboratory, which deal with issues of particular importance.

The Academy of Sciences received a letter signed by Senator Franken, the chairman of the US Senate Committee on Energy, where he proposes research on the creation of artificial fuels in collaboration with American, Georgian, and Ukrainian researchers. Such appeals on collaboration based research come from different countries.

The main scientific journal of the Academy “Moambe” is published in English and distributed worldwide. It has a high rating impact factor coefficient and is in high demand.