The supreme state scientific organization of the Republic of Belarus is the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NAS of Belarus). It is established in 1929. It unites scientists of various areas who develop fundamental and applied problems of up-to-date science and technology. The status of the national was acquired by the Academy of Sciences in compliance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated May 15, 1997. According to the Decree, the NAS of Belarus comprises 80 Academicians and 120 Correspondent Members, honorary and foreign members. In 1999 the Academy numbered over 50 scientific organizations: institutes, departments, centers. Over 4,000 research scientists, including about 500 Doctors and 2,000 Candidates of Science work in scientific institutions. The basic scientific and scientific-and-organizational unit of the Academy, which unites scientific research institutions and scientists of one or several science branches, is a department of science. The NAS of Belarus consists of the Department of Physics, Mathematics and Informatics; Department of Physical-and-Technical Sciences; Department of Chemical Sciences and Sciences of the Earth; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Medico-biological Sciences; Department of Humanitarian Sciences and Arts.
The work of the Academy is supervised by the elective collegiate board - Presidium of the NAS that includes President, First Vice-President and Vice-Presidents, Chief Academic Secretary, Secretary Academicians of the Departments of Sciences and other members of the Presidium.
The President of the National Academy of Sciences is elected by the general meeting of the Academy, is ranked with a Minister of the Republic of Belarus and is a member of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.
The NAS of Belarus ensures performing, developing and coordinating fundamental investigations in the principal trends of natural, technical and humanitarian sciences. The most important objectives and tasks of the Academy include study of problems of economical, social, political and public legal development of the Republic of Belarus, its language, history, nature and ecology, and also enhancing the influence of science on the development of education, spiritual culture and intellectual potential of the people, increase in efficient application of scientific investigations results.
A number of design-and-technological organizations, pilot and scientific-and-innovative enterprises are established within the system of the NAS of Belarus for practical realization of scientific investigations results. Information back-up of scientific investigations is carried out by the Central Scientific Library and Beloruskaya Nauka (Belarusian Science) Publishing House. The NAS of Belarus publishes scientific monographs, collections of scientific articles and magazines: Reports of the NAS of Belarus, News of the NAS of Belarus in 5 topical series, Differential Equations, Journal of Applied Spectroscopy, Engineering-and-Physical Journal, Lithosphere, Materials, Technologies, Tools, Friction and Wear, Natural Resources. The most part of the published magazines is translated into English and distributed abroad.
Scientific investigations and projects are conducted in co-operation with multiple research and educational institutions, design bureau, associations and enterprises of the Republic of Belarus and those of other countries. Active co-operation is in progress with Academies of Sciences and other scientific institutions of foreign countries. Inter-government, inter-academy and inter-institute contracts and agreements on scientific co-operation are signed with 60 countries of the world. The Academy's scientific organizations carry out works under programs COPERNICUS, ESPRIT, INTAS and TACIS. Many projects are supported by UNESCO, IAEA, the International Scientific Foundation (ISF) and the American Civil Foundation (CRDF).
The evidence of accepting the NAS of Belarus by the international scientific community as its full member is admission of the NAS of Belarus into such prestigious international scientific organizations as the International Council of Scientific Unions, Assembly of European Academies of Sciences, International Association of Academies of Sciences, etc.
In addition to fundamental investigations performed within the NAS of Belarus, scientific investigations and projects are carried out in research institutions of ministries and branches, and also at chairs of higher educational institutions, in scientific research centres and scientific-production associations. The Belarusian Research Center Ecology, the National Scientific Enlightenment Center named after Frantsisk Skorina continue their work. In total, about 300 scientific institutions and organizations, including over 130 scientific research institutes, functioned in Belarus in 2000.