Estonian Academy of Sciences

Founded in 1938, the Estonian Academy of Sciences (Estonian: Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia) is Estonia's national academy of science in Tallinn. As with other national academies, it is an independent group of well-known scientists whose stated aim is to promote research and development, encourage international scientific cooperation, and disseminate knowledge to the public.[1][2] As of March 2017, it had 77 full members and 20 foreign members.[3] Since 15 October 2014, the president of the Academy is the mathematician Tarmo Soomere.[4]

Estonian Academy of Sciences
Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia
Formation28 January 1938
HeadquartersTallinn, Estonia
Tarmo Soomere
Kohtu 6, Tallinn.IMGP6035
Ungern-Sternberg palace on Toompea, nowadays the main building of Estonian Academy of Sciences (Kohtu Street 6, built 1865–1868, architect Martin Gropius)


The Academy has four divisions:[5][6]

  • Division of Astronomy and Physics (Estonian: Astronoomia ja füüsika osakond)
  • Division of Informatics and Engineering (Estonian: Informaatika ja tehnikateaduste osakond)
  • Division of Biology, Geology and Chemistry (Estonian: Bioloogia, geoloogia ja keemia osakond)
  • Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Estonian: Humanitaar- ja sotsiaalteaduste osakond)


The Academy was established in 1938 as a learned society. When Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union the Academy was dissolved on July 17, 1940. In June 1945 it was reestablished as the Academy of Sciences of the Estonian SSR (Estonian: Eesti NSV Teaduste Akadeemia). In Soviet times, it consisted of a central library and four divisions containing 15 research institutes as well as other scientific societies and museums. In April 1989, shortly before Estonian independence, the academy regained its original name of Estonian Academy of Sciences. At this time it was also restructured into its present form.[4][7]


The Academy's most prestigious prize is the Medal of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. This is awarded "for outstanding services in development of Estonian science or in helping forward its development, as well as for services in performance of tasks of the Estonian Academy of Sciences."[8]


The Academy is located on Kohtu Street in Tallinn. Its building is the so-called palace of Ungern-Sternberg, built in 1865 by the architect Martin Gropius.[9]

Associated organizations

Several organizations are associated with the Academy. These institutions or societies have activities and goals that conform to the objectives of the academy. They include:[10]


  1. ^ Academy, web page at the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Accessed on line September 12, 2007.
  2. ^ Estonian Academy of Sciences, web page at the Union of European Academies for Science Applied to Agriculture, Food, and Nature. Accessed on line September 12, 2007.
  3. ^ Membership, web page at the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Accessed on line April 9, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Facts of history, web page at the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Accessed on line April 9, 2017.
  5. ^ Structure, web page at the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Accessed on line September 12, 2007.
  6. ^ Struktuur, web page at the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Accessed on line September 12, 2007.
  7. ^ Kronoloogia, web page at the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Accessed on line September 12, 2007.
  8. ^ Estonian Academy of Sciences:Medals, Prizes, Scholarships (Accessed April 2013)
  9. ^ Estonian Academy of Sciences, web page in English. Accessed on line September 12, 2007.
  10. ^ "Associated Organizations". Estonian Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 2012-12-14.

External links

Academy of sciences

An academy of sciences is a type of learned society or academy (as special scientific institution) dedicated to sciences that may or may not be state funded. Some state funded academies are tuned into national or royal (in case of the United Kingdom i.e. Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge) as a form of honor.

The other type of academies are Academy of Arts or combination of both (e.g., American Academy of Arts and Sciences).

In non-English-speaking countries, the range of academic fields of the members of a national Academy of Science often includes scholarly disciplines which would not normally be classed as "science" in English. Many languages use a broad term for systematized learning which includes both natural and social sciences and fields such as literary studies, linguistics, history, or art history. (Often these terms are calques from Latin scientia (the etymological source of English science) and, accordingly, derivatives of the verb ‘know’, such as German Wissenschaft, Swedish vetenskap, Hungarian tudomány, Estonian teadus or Finnish tiede.) Accordingly, for example the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften), the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia), or the Estonian Academy of Sciences (Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia) also cover the areas of social sciences and humanities.

As the engineering sciences have become more varied and advanced, there is a recent trend in many advanced countries to organize the National Academy of Engineering (or Engineering Sciences), separate from the national Academy of Sciences.

Academies of science play an important role in science diplomacy efforts.

Eerik Kumari

Eerik Kumari (7 March 1912 in Kirbla, Lihula Parish – 8 January 1984; born as Erik Mathias Sits) was a doctor of biology, the founder of ornithology and nature conservation in Estonia, the learned director of the Institute of Zoology and Botany at the Estonian Academy of Sciences during 1952-1977. He was the president of the Estonian Naturalists' Society in 1954–1964.

The Eerik Kumari Award was established in 1989 in his name to honor those who have excelled in bioscience in Estonia.

Endel Tulving

Endel Tulving (born May 26, 1927) is an Estonian-born Canadian experimental psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist whose research on human memory has influenced psychological scientists, neuroscientists, and clinicians. He helped separate declarative memory into two distinct parts.

Tulving is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and a Visiting Professor of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Toronto and his doctorate from Harvard University. In 1979, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1988 he was elected into the United States National Academy of Sciences. In 1992, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. He is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 2005 he won a Gairdner Foundation International Award, Canada's leading prize in biology and medicine. In 2006, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honor. In 2007, he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Tulving has published at least 200 research articles and chapters, and he is widely cited, with an h-index of 69 (as of April, 2010), and in a Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, he ranked as the 36th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Ene Ergma

Ene Ergma (born 29 February 1944, in Rakvere) is an Estonian politician, a member of the Riigikogu (Estonian parliament), and scientist. She was a member of the political party Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica and, before the two parties merged, a member of Res Publica Party. On 1 June 2016, Ergma announced her resignation from the party, because the party had lost its identity and turned populist.

Erast Parmasto

Erast Parmasto (October 28, 1928 – April 24, 2012) was a noted Estonian mycologist, bioscientist and botanist and onetime director of the Estonian Institute of Zoology and Botany.

Parmasto was born in Nõmme. He became a member of the Estonian Institute of Zoology and Botany in 1950 and served as its director from 1985 to 1990. His establishment of a mushroom herbarium in 1950 has since seen recognition of 160,000 samples, 37,000 of which Parmasto himself collected.Parmasto published more than 150 papers and 200 articles during his academic career and his works are commonly used in popular scientific and academic journals in Estonia. His expertise in the field of mycology has resulted in him being nicknamed "Seenevana", or the "grand old man of mushrooms". As a mycologist, the field with which Parmasto was most associated, he was best known for his establishment and enhancement of databases for species of mushrooms within Estonia. He was also the author of the first Estonian-language textbook on biosystematics in history. He was furthermore one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Liiva-Putla Nature Reserve, one of only five areas created for the protection of mushrooms in Europe.He served as the president of the Estonian Naturalists' Society between 1973 and 1976 and was an honorary member of the society from 1988. Between 1973 and 1981 he was also the academic secretary in the Department of Chemical, Geological and Biological Sciences of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. He would later work as a Professor of Botany and Ecology at the University of Tartu from 1987 to 1995.

Parmasto worked as the senior researcher in the Mycology Department of the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the Estonian University of Life Sciences.

Ernst Öpik

Ernst Julius Öpik (22 October [O.S. 10 October] 1893 – 10 September 1985) was an Estonian astronomer and astrophysicist who spent the second half of his career (1948–1981) at the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland.

Friedebert Tuglas

Friedebert Tuglas, born Friedebert Mihkelson or Michelson (2 March 1886, Ahja – 15 April 1971, Tallinn) was an Estonian writer and critic who introduced Impressionism and Symbolism to Estonian literature. Persecuted by the authorities in the beginning of 20th century, he later became an acknowledged representative of Estonian literature in the Soviet era.

Hans Trass

Hans-Voldemar Trass (2 May 1928 – 14 February 2017) was an Estonian ecologist and botanist. He was a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences since 1975 and president of the Estonian Naturalists' Society from 1964 to 1973 and 1985 to 1991. In 1992, Trass was awarded the Acharius Medal by the International Association for Lichenology.Trass was married to Estonian actress Raine Loo. The couple had a son, composer and organist Toomas Trass.Trass died on 14 February 2017, aged 88.

Harald Keres

Harald Keres (15 November [O.S. 2 November] 1912, Pärnu – 26 June 2010) was an Estonian physicist considered to be the father of the Estonian school of relativistic gravitation theory. In 1961 Keres became a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences in the field of theoretical physics. In 1996 Keres was awarded the Order of the National Coat of Arms, Class III.Keres was the elder brother of chess grandmaster Paul Keres.

Ivar Karl Ugi

Ivar Karl Ugi (9 September 1930 in Saaremaa, Estonia – 29 September 2005 in Munich) was an Estonian-born German chemist who made major contributions to organic chemistry. He is known for the research on multicomponent reactions, yielding the Ugi reaction.

Jaan Einasto

Jaan Einasto (born 23 February 1929, in Tartu) is an Estonian astrophysicist and one of the discoverers of the large-scale structure of the Universe.Born Jaan Eisenschmidt in Tartu, the name "Einasto" is an anagram of "Estonia" (it was chosen by his patriotic father in the 1930s to replace the family's German name). He attended the University of Tartu, where he received the Ph.D. equivalent in 1955 and a senior research doctorate in 1972. From 1952, he has worked as a scientist at the Tartu Observatory (1977–1998) Head of the Department of Cosmology; in 1992-1995, he was Professor of Cosmology at the University of Tartu. For a long time, he was Head of the Division of Astronomy and Physics of the Estonian Academy of Sciences in Tallinn. Einasto is a member of the Academia Europaea, the European Astronomical Society and the Royal Astronomical Society; he has received three Estonian National Science Awards.

1947 Tartu Secondary School No. 1

1952 University of Tartu

1955 Cand.Sc. in physics and mathematics

1972 D.Sc. in physics and mathematics

1992 Professor

1991 Member of Academia Europaea

1994 Member of the Royal British Society of AstronomyThe asteroid 11577 Einasto, discovered in 1994, is named in his honour.

In 1974, in a seminal work with Kaasik and Saar at the Tartu Observatory, Einasto argued that "it is necessary to adopt an alternative hypothesis: that the clusters of galaxies are stabilised by hidden matter." This was a key paper in recognizing that a hidden matter, i.e., dark matter, could explain observational anomalies in astronomy.

Jüri Uluots

Jüri Uluots (13 January 1890 – 9 January 1945) was an Estonian prime minister, journalist, prominent attorney and distinguished Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Tartu.

Ludvig Puusepp

Ludvig Puusepp (also Pussep or Pousep, rus. Людвиг Мартынович Пуссеп), (3 December [O.S. 21 November] 1875 in Kiev – 19 October 1942 in Tartu) was an Estonian surgeon and researcher and the world's first professor of neurosurgery.

Oil Shale (journal)

Oil Shale is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering research in petrology, especially concerning oil shale. The journal covers geology, mining, formation, composition, methods of processing, combustion, economics, and environmental protection related to oil shale. It is abstracted and indexed in the Science Citation Index. The editor-in-chief is Anto Raukas.

Oskar Loorits

Oskar Loorits (9 November [O.S. 27 October] 1900 – 12 December 1961) was an Estonian folklorist.

Richard R. Ernst

Richard Robert Ernst (born 14 August 1933) is a Swiss physical chemist and Nobel Laureate.Born in Winterthur, Switzerland, Ernst was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1991 for his contributions towards the development of Fourier transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy while at Varian Associates, Palo Alto and the subsequent development of multi-dimensional NMR techniques. These underpin applications to both to chemistry with NMR spectroscopy and to medicine with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Romi Mankin

Romi Mankin (born November 7, 1947) is an Estonian physicist known (see citation metrics below) for his work in the field of stochastic processes. Currently he holds a post in Tallinn University as a Professor of Theoretical Physics. He is well published having published many articles in both the Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences and in the various sections of Physical Review (typically E but also D). and other major journals.In 2002 he was awarded the Estonian Physical Society Annual Award. This was for his contribution to the development of stochastical physics in the area of noise-induced phase transitions and transfer phenomena.

Viktor Masing

Viktor Masing (11 April 1925, Tartu – 18 March 2001) was an Estonian botanist and ecologist. He was born in Tartu. He became a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences in 1993.

He was a specialist in telmatology, and an organizer of wetland protection.

His son, Matti Masing, is a renowned nature scientist, and one of Europe's foremost experts on bats.

Yuri Lotman

Yuri Mikhailovich Lotman (Russian: Ю́рий Миха́йлович Ло́тман, Estonian: Juri Lotman; 28 February 1922 – 28 October 1993) was a prominent literary scholar, semiotician, and cultural historian, who worked at the University of Tartu. He was a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. He was the founder of the Tartu–Moscow Semiotic School. The number of his printed works exceeds 800 titles. His archive (which is now kept at the University of Tallinn and at the Tartu University Library) which includes his correspondence with a number of Russian intellectuals, is immense.

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