The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters


The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters was founded on 13 November 1742 at the instigation of historian Professor Hans Gram and privy councillor Count Johan Ludvig Holstein. The Academy has H.M. Queen Margrethe as its patron. The purpose of the Academy is to strengthen the position of scholarship in Denmark and, especially, to promote basic scientific research and inter-disciplinary understanding.

The Academy provides a framework and meeting-place for outstanding researchers within the fields of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The Academy comprises two classes: a humanities class (including social sciences) and a natural sciences class.

The Academy has around 250 Danish and 250 international members. The distribution of the Danish members is roughly two fifths humanities and three fifths natural sciences.

The Carlsberg Foundation and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters

Brewer J.C. Jacobsen established the Carlsberg Foundation in 1876 by issuing a Deed of Gift to the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. In accordance with the Deed of Gift and the Charter of the Carlsberg Foundation, the Foundation’s board of directors comprises five members appointed by the Academy from among the Academy’s Danish members. The Carlsberg Foundation’s board is tasked with continuously ensuring active, value-creating development of the Carlsberg Group and providing funding for basic research within the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. It is also responsible for overseeing the other departments of the Carlsberg Foundation: the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle, the Tuborg Foundation.

On the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Academy in 1892, a proposal was made to fulfil J.C. Jacobsen’s desire for the Carlsberg Foundation and the Academy to have a shared home. Since 1899, the Foundation and the Academy have therefore been housed at H.C. Andersens Boulevard 35 in a building owned and built by the Carlsberg Foundation.

In 2011, to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Brewer J.C. Jacobsen, the Carlsberg Foundation instituted two major annual prizes for researchers who have made a crucial contribution to basic research: one in the field of natural sciences and one in the field of either humanities or social sciences. The Carlsberg Foundation asked the Academy’s Presidium to nominate prizewinners.