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German Academy of Sciences at Berlin

Seat of the academy at the Gendarmenmarkt

The German Academy of Sciences at Berlin (German: Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin) or AdW, later renamed the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic (Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR), was the most important research institution of East Germany.

The academy was founded in 1946 by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany to continue the long tradition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences and the Brandenburg Society of Sciences, which had been founded in 1700 by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. To facilitate publishing, the Akademie Verlag was founded also in 1946. The 250th anniversary in 1950 was already boycotted by West Germans due to the influence of the socialist East German authorities, which mainly had East Germans elected to the academy in the decades to follow. It became the most important academy in the German Democratic Republic, and was accordingly renamed 'Academy of Sciences of the GDR' (Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR) in 1972, once the division of Germany was accepted as the state of affairs. In the 1980s, the AdW itself had over 200 members, including two dozen West Germans. It coordinated research at 59 institutes that employed 22,000 persons. Following the fall of the Berlin wall, academy members called for a reform of the academy, rejecting the leading role of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.

On 27 June 1990, the new GDR government reorganized the academy, turning it into a public organisation. Until late 1991, the former AdW institutes were separated from the academy, evaluated, and either dissolved or assigned to different organisations, mainly the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community. As the states of Berlin and Brandenburg considered a continuation of the academy as improper due to its role in the GDR, the academy, which had about 400 members, was disbanded and the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften ("Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities") was founded in 1993.

On 15 April 1993, 60 of the former academy members created the private organisation Leibniz-Sozietät which claims to represent 300 years of continuous academic tradition. It has now over 300 members, of which most were elected since 1994.

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