Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Last updated
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
The Trippenhuis is the seat of the academy
Formation8 May 1808;210 years ago (1808-05-08) [1]
Headquarters Trippenhuis [2]
Coordinates 52°22′17.5″N4°53′59″E / 52.371528°N 4.89972°E / 52.371528; 4.89972 Coordinates: 52°22′17.5″N4°53′59″E / 52.371528°N 4.89972°E / 52.371528; 4.89972
Wim van Saarloos
Formerly called
Royal Institute of Science, Letters and Fine Arts [3]

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Dutch : Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, abbreviated: KNAW) is an organization dedicated to the advancement of science and literature in the Netherlands. The academy is housed in the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam.

Dutch language West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

Organization social entity with a collective goal; social units of people that are structured and managed to meet a need, or to pursue collective goals

An organization or organisation is an entity comprising multiple people, such as an institution or an association, that has a particular purpose.

Science systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge

Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.


In addition to various advisory and administrative functions it operates a number of research institutes and awards many prizes, including the Lorentz Medal in theoretical physics, the Dr Hendrik Muller Prize for Behavioural and Social Science and the Heineken Prizes.

Lorentz Medal award

Lorentz Medal is a distinction awarded every four years by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. It was established in 1925 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the doctorate of Hendrik Lorentz. The medal is given for important contributions to theoretical physics, though in the past there have been some experimentalists among its recipients.

The Dr Hendrik Muller Prize for Behavioural and Social Sciences is awarded every other year by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences to a researcher or group of researchers who has made a significant or valuable contribution to the behavioural and social sciences. The award is named after Hendrik Pieter Nicolaas Muller (1859–1941), a Dutch businessman and diplomat.

Main functions

The academy advises the Dutch government on scientific matters. While its advice often pertains to genuine scientific concerns, it also counsels the government on such topics as policy on careers for researchers or the Netherlands' contribution to major international projects. The academy offers solicited and unsolicited advice to parliament, ministries, universities and research institutes, funding agencies and international organizations.

Members and organization

The members are appointed for life by co-optation. Nominations for candidate membership by persons or organizations outside the academy are accepted. The acceptance criterion is delivered scientific achievements. Academy membership is therefore regarded as a great honor, and prestigious. Besides regular members, there are foreign members and corresponding members. Since a new membership system was introduced in 2011 there will be no new corresponding members. Each year a maximum of sixteen members is appointed to the academy. [4]

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences has long embraced the entire field of learning. The Royal Academy comprises two departments, consisting of around 500 members: [4]

Both departments have their own board. The departments, in turn, are divided into sections. The highest organ in the academy is the general meeting of members, the united meeting of both departments. The president was Frits van Oostrom until 1 May 2008, after which he was succeeded by Robbert Dijkgraaf. Both van Oostrom in his leaving address and Dijkgraaf in his inaugural address have voiced their worries about the low level of funding in science in the Netherlands compared to almost all other western countries. In March 2012, Hans Clevers was elected president and took office in June 2012. [5] Latrer presidents were José van Dijck (2015) and Wim van Saarloos (2018).

Frits van Oostrom Dutch academic

Frits van Oostrom, born in Utrecht, Netherlands, is University Professor for the Humanities at the Utrecht University. In 1999 he was a visiting Professor at Harvard for the Erasmus Chair. From September 2004 to June 2005, he was a fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS). He was awarded the Spinozapremie in 1995. In May, 2005 he became President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) for a three-year period. He had been member of the same institution since 1994.

Robbert Dijkgraaf Dutch mathematical physicist and string theorist

Robertus Henricus "Robbert" Dijkgraaf FRSE is a Dutch mathematical physicist and string theorist. He is tenured professor at the University of Amsterdam, and director and Leon Levy professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Hans Clevers geneticist

Johannes Carolus (Hans) Clevers is a professor in molecular genetics, a geneticist, physician, medical researcher who was the first to identify stem cells in the intestine and is one of the world's leading researchers on normal stem cells and their potential for regenerative therapy. Clevers obtained his M.D. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in 1985 at Utrecht University and was a professor in immunology there between 1991 and 2002. Since then, he is Professor in Molecular Genetics at the UMC Utrecht and University Utrecht. He received the Spinoza Prize in 2001 and became director of the Hubrecht Institute in 2002. He was elected as the president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) to succeed Robbert Dijkgraaf from 2012-2015. Clevers has his own research group at the Hubrecht Institute and is director Research of the Princess Maxima Center for pediatric oncology since 1 June 2015. In 2013 he was awarded the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his work. In 2014 he became one of the national icons of the Netherlands.


During the French occupation of the Dutch Republic, it was founded as the Koninklijk Instituut van Wetenschappen, Letterkunde en Schoone Kunsten (Royal Institute of Sciences, Literature and Fine Arts) by Lodewijk Napoleon on May 4, 1808. In 1816, after the occupation had ended, it was renamed to Koninklijk-Nederlandsch Instituut van Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schoone Kunsten. In 1851 it was disbanded and re-established as the Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen and in 1938 obtained its present name. Since 1812 the academy has resided in the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam.

Dutch Republic republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795

The Dutch Republic or United Provinces was a republic that existed from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces until the Batavian Revolution in 1795. It was the predecessor state of the modern Netherlands and the first nation state of the Dutch people.

The institute was awarded the Gouden Ganzenveer in 1955. [6]

Research institutes

The following Research institutes are associated with the KNAW: [7]

The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) was established in 2005 as a merger of the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research (NIH, established in 1909) and the Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute (IOI, established in 1988). [8]

Young Academy

De Jonge Akademie (The Young Academy) is a society of younger science researchers, founded in 2005 as part of the KNAW. Ten members are elected each year for a term of five years; members are scientists between 25 and 45 years old and are selected for a record of excellence in their research. It was modelled after the similar German Junge Akademie, and both of these academies in turn were used as models for the Global Young Academy. [9] [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

Hendrik (Henk) Tennekes was the director of research at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, and was a Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. He is known for his work in the fields of turbulence and multi-modal forecasting. He authored the textbooks The Simple Science of Flight: From Insects to Jumbo Jets and A First Course in Turbulence with John L. Lumley. The book "A First Course in Turbulence", is a classic that logs more than 2,000 citations on Google Scholar.

Carel Anton Fodor Dutch conductor

Carel Anton Fodor or Carolus Antonius Fodor was a Dutch pianist, conductor, and the most prominent composer of his generation in the Netherlands, writing in the manner of Joseph Haydn.

The Gouden Ganzenveer is a Dutch cultural award initiated in 1955, given annually to a person or organization of great significance to the written and printed word. Recipients are selected by an academy of people from the cultural, political, scientific, and corporate world. Members meet once a year; the winner is announced each year in January and honored in April. From 1995 to 1998 the award was granted by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Uitgeversbond, the Royal Dutch Organization of Publishers; since 2000, it is granted by a separate organization.

Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands

The Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands was formed on January 1, 2011 through a merger of the Institute of Dutch History a research institute of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, and the Huygens Instituut of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The institute is located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in the Spinhuis building.

Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen

The Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen, located on the east side of the Spaarne in downtown Haarlem, Netherlands, was established in 1752 and is the oldest society for the sciences in the country. The society has been housed in its present location, called Hodshon Huis, since 1841. Nearby the society is the Teylers Museum, a closely related museum of natural history founded in 1784. In 2002 the society was awarded the predicate "Royal" when it celebrated 250 years of science studies.

Trippenhuis rijksmonument on Kloveniersburgwal 29, Amsterdam

The Trippenhuis is a neoclassical canal mansion in the centre of Amsterdam. It was built in 1660–1662 for the wealthy Amsterdam weapons traders Louis and Hendrick Trip. Many references to weaponry can be seen on its facade. Since 1887 it has been the seat of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Jean Pierre Moquette moved from the Netherlands to Java in 1873. He worked as a bookkeeper at the sugar plantation and factory 'Kremboeng', in Sidoarjo near Surabaya. He was also stamp and coin dealer in Surabaya. He became known for the alterations of stamps and postal stationery. Besides philately, numismatics and his bookkeeping work in the sugar business, he was a researcher in the field of sugar cane. For his research of cane sowing and crossing he was in 1898 appointed Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau. In 1900 he founded the Indonesian Numismatic Cabinet in which he was active as curator. In the early 1900s he did ethnographic and historical research for which in 1924 he was appointed correspondent for the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam.

Johan Engelbert Elias was a Dutch historian known mostly for his important work on the history of Amsterdam's regency.

Dick Swaab Dutch neuroscientist

Dick Frans Swaab is a Dutch physician and neurobiologist. He is a professor of neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam and was until 2005 Director of the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts Flemish academy of sciences

Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten or KVAB is an independent learned society of science and arts in Flanders in Belgium. The academy dates its origin back to 1772 when the Imperial and Royal Academy of Brussels was founded by empress Maria Theresia.

The Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium is the independent learned society of science and arts of the French Community of Belgium. It is also called in shorthand Royal Academy of Belgium (ARB) or La Thérésienne from Maria Theresa. The Dutch-speaking counterpart for the Flemish Community in Belgium is called Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. In 2001 both academies founded a joint association for the purpose of promoting science and arts on an international level: The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium (RASAB). All three institutions are located in the same building, the Academy Palace in Brussels.

Klaas van Berkel is a Dutch historian, historian of science, and professor of Modern History at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, known from his work on the history of science in the Netherlands, particularly the work of Isaac Beeckman, Simon Stevin and Eduard Jan Dijksterhuis.

René Tavernier (geologist) Belgian geologist and university professor

René Tavernier was a Belgian geologist and stratigrapher. He was a professor at the State University of Ghent, a corresponding member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, and one of the founders of the Belgian Society for Soil Science.

Meertens Institute Dutch linguistics and cultural research institute

The Meertens Institute in Amsterdam is a research institute for Dutch language and culture within the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Piet Meertens Dutch literary critic (1899-1985)

Pieter Jacobus (Piet) Meertens was a Dutch scholar of literature, dialects, and ethnology. He founded the institutes which later merged into the Meertens Instituut, of which he was the director until 1965.

Jan Albert Bakker is a Dutch archeologist. He is an emeritus lecturer of Prehistoric Archaeology of Northwestern Europe at the University of Amsterdam, where he worked at the Institute for Prae- and Protohistory. His field of expertise is the Funnelbeaker culture and the Dutch dolmen called hunebeds.

Herman Bouma is a Dutch vision researcher and gerontechnologist. He is considered to be one of the founders of the field of gerontechnology. He spent the majority of his career at the Institute of Perception Research, serving as its director from the mid 1970s until 1994. He subsequently led the Institute for Gerontechnology until 1999.

Hans Herman Cohen is a Dutch microbiologist. He was director-general of the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). As a microbiologist Cohen worked on development of polio vaccines in the Netherlands.


  1. 1808 – Signed: Louis, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved on 2013-09-20.
  2. 1 2 Contact, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved on 2013-09-20.
  3. History of the Academy, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved on 2013-09-20.
  4. 1 2 "The Academy's members". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  5. "Hans Clevers volgt Robbert Dijkgraaf op als president KNAW". NRC Handelsblad . 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  6. "Laureaten De Gouden Ganzenveer vanaf 1955". Stichting De Gouden Ganzenveer. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  7. "The Academy Institutes" . Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  8. "Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience". KNAW. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  9. Loerts, Hanneke (June 2009), "De Jonge Akademie, a new and a leaving member meet" (PDF), Newsletter of the Graduate School for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences: 1–3, archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-11-23.
  10. Brück, Tilman; Beaudry, Catherine; Hilgenkamp, Hans; Karoonuthaisiri, Nitsara; Salah el Din Mohamed, Hiba; Weiss, Gregory A. (April 2010), "Empowering Young Scientists", Science , 328 (5974): 17, doi:10.1126/science.1185745, PMID   20360070 .