The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters invites Finnish academics and scientists who have distinguished themselves in their own fields to become members. The Academy had 717 members as of December 2015.
Groups and sections
The Academy is divided into two sections, those of science and the humanities, and these in turn are divided into groups by disciplines, so that the Section of Science has seven such groups and the Section of the Humanities eight.
The quota for Finnish members of the Academy of Science and Letters under the age of 65 years is restricted to 333, with 194 in the Section of Science and 139 in the Section of the Humanities. When a member reaches the age of 65 his or her place in the quota becomes vacant, but that person still retains full membership of the Academy.
The Groups of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters
|Mathematics and natural sciences||quota positions|
|Mathematics and computer science||28|
|Physics and astronomy||26|
|Agriculture and forestry||22|
|Humanistic section||quota positions|
|Theology and religious studies||12|
|Philosophy,Aesthetics and Art reasearch||12|
|Psychology and Pedagogy||14|
|History and archaeology||17|
Selection of Members
Several steps are involved in the process by which potential members are elected. Suggestions for new members are first discussed in the groups concerned and then proposals voted on in meetings of the sections. The final choices are then made in the Spring Annual General Meeting in April. It is also possible for the Governing Board to put proposals for new members before the appropriate section.
This election procedure is fairly typical of academies of science worldwide and is directed specifically at ensuring that all members have the necessary academic credentials and command widespread respect in their own field. Membership of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, in common with membership of any other academy of science, is looked on as a considerable achievement in a person’s academic career.
The Academy began inviting members from abroad in 1924. The same rules and requirements apply as in the case of Finnish members, and it goes without saying that these people represent the peak in their own field internationally. The Academy had 173 external members in 2015.
Especially distinguished scientists and academics or patrons of scientific research may be invited to honorary membership of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. The current honorary members are President Mauno Koivisto, Academician Olli Lehto, former chancellors of the University of Helsinki Kari Raivio and Risto Ihamuotila and Professors Eeva Tapio, Jarmo Visakorpi, Elina Haavio-Mannila and Heikki Palva.