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 on September 25, 1876, and initially donated a gift of DKK 1 million as base capital. In accordance with the deed of gift and the Carlsberg Foundation Charter, its board of directors consists of five scientists elected by and amongst the domestic members of the academy. The task of the Carlsberg Foundation board is to continuously ensure the ongoing value-adding development of the Carlsberg Group brewery, and to make contributions to basic research within the fields of natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, as well as taking care of the other departments of the Carlsberg Foundation: Carlsberg Research Laboratory, Frederiksborg – Museum of National History, and the Tuborg Foundation.

At the 150th anniversary of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in 1892, the then chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation, Professor Edvard Holm, made a proposal to meet J.C. Jacobsen's wish for shared headquarters for the Carlsberg Foundation and the Academy. Therefore, since 1899, The Carlsberg Foundation and The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters have both been based at H.C. Andersens Boulevard 35 in a building erected and owned by the Carlsberg Foundation.

In 2011, to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Brewer J.C. Jacobsen, the Carlsberg Foundation instituted two annual research prizes to be awarded to two brilliant scientists within natural sciences and the humanities, respectively.