The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters is founded on November 13 with King Christian VI's approval as a "learned society” by Count, Privy Councillor, JL Holstein, Royal historian, Professor Hans Gram, Professor of Theology Erik Pontoppidan and Secretary of the Danske Kancelli, Henrik Henrichsen (later Hielmstierne).

Hans Gram (1685-1748)



The Academy publishes its first volume of essays and papers. The publishing company has continued uninterrupted ever since.


The Academy is responsible for a geographical and trigonometric measurement of Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein and the publishing of 24 accurate maps.


King Christian VII, formally declares himself as the Academy patron.


The Academy adopts its first actual Charter.


Prince Christian Frederik (from 1839 King Christian VIII), becomes the Academy president.


The Academy begins to hold its meetings at the Prince's Palace, which today houses a part of the National Museum. Before that, the Academy had been operating in different places since 1774 under instructions from the king


Two classes, the humanities (originally the historical-philosophical) and natural sciences (originally the science-math) are formed by the merger of the four classes that were created in 1792. The Academy places emphasis on basic research over applied science.



Brewer JC Jacobsen founds the Carlsberg Foundation with the aim of promoting science; The foundation's funds come from the Carlsberg Breweries. The Carlsberg Foundation consists of five scientists elected by the Danish members of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. This Executive Board decide not only the distribution of funds, but also sit on the board of the brewery and its affiliated companies, foundations and museums (eg The Museum of National History at the Frederiksborg Castle).


The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters join The Carlsberg Foundation in the newly constructed building designed in neo-Renaissance style by architect William Petersen and built in Dantes Square in central Copenhagen. Academy member meetings take place every second Thursday in the large meeting room.

H.C. Andersens Boulevard 35 the year 1900



JC Jacobsen's headquarters in Valby is bestowed as honorary residence for an excellent researcher appointed by the The Academy. From 1997, the building houses Carlsberg Academy, which can host small conferences and workshop. There are also arranged a guest accommodation to a foreign researcher.


Eli Fischer-Jørgensen (1911-2010) becomes the first woman to be elected as Danish member of the Academy. In 1920, Marie Curie (1867-1934) was elected as the first female foreign member.


The Carlsberg Foundation, to mark the occasion of its 100th anniversary, funds an extensive rebuilding of Petersen's building so that it can accommodate the growing number of members. The conversion also creates a new, large meeting hall for symposiums and public lectures, the first of which will be held in October of that year.


The Academy structure in its current form was agreed and put into action in 2006. It consists of a Presidium of seven people elected by and from its members: A President, two Vice-Presidents (who are also class chairmen), a Secretary General, an Editor and a representative from both classes.

Policy changes in 2006 also meant that foreign members working and/or residing in Denmark enjoy the same rights, including the right to vote, as the domestic membership.

The Academy has approximately 250 Danish and 250 foreign members. Among the Danish members, distribution is approximately 40% humanities and 60% natural sciences.