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National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
AbbreviationNANB / НАНБ
Formation1 January 1929; 95 years ago (1929-01-01)
TypeNational academy
PurposeScience, arts, academics
HeadquartersMinsk, Belarus
Vladimir Grigorievich Gusakov

The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB; Belarusian: Нацыянальная акадэмія навук Беларусі, romanizedNacyjanalnaja akademija navuk Biełarusi; Russian: Национальная академия наук Беларуси, romanizedNatsional'naya akademiya nauk Belarusi, НАН Беларуси, NAN Belarusi, НАНБ, NANB) is the national academy of Belarus.


Inbelkult - predecessor to the Academy

The Academy has its origins in the Institute of Belarusian Culture (Inbelkult), a Belarusian academic and research institution founded on 30 January 1922.[1]

In the early 1920s, a key policy of newly established Soviet Belarus was the advancement of science, aimed at accelerating the technological, economic and social development of the republic and resolving a broad range of regional issues. The idea of creating a Belarusian academic and research institution was discussed during 1920 - 1921 and by November 1921, a commission consisting of academicians Yefim Karsky, Jazep Dyla and Ściapan Niekraševič prepared a founding charter of Inbelkult. Pursuant to the charter, Inbelkult was both research and cultural-educational institution, a multidisciplinary organisation focusing on ethnographic, linguistic, literary, artistic, cultural, historical, natural and geographical studies. The first meeting of Inbelkult took place on 30 January 1922, which is considered its foundation date.[2]

At first Inbelkult consisted of two departments - ethnological-linguistic and natural science and had among its members a number of prominent academics, poets and writers such as Ściapan Niekraševič (who was the first Chairman of Inbelkult), Yefim Karsky, Jasep Losik, Janka Kupala, Jakub Kolas, and Źmitrok Biadula. Meticulous work was carried out to standardise the modern Belarusian language and between 1922 – 1924 six compilations of Belarusian terminology were published comprising 15 thousand Belarusian terms. In 1923, archaeological and ethnographic expeditions were carried out and the publication of a monthly magazine in this area was initiated. Works of Inbelkult's academics were published in "The Notes of the Department of Nature and National Economy" and "The Notes of the Department of Humanities".[2]

In July 1924, the government of Soviet Belarus designated Inbelkult "the highest state academic institution" whose role was to coordinate all academic work in the republic, with a right to organise museums, libraries and archives, convene academic conferences and carry out expeditions. Inbelkult was able to purchase foreign publication and research tools duty-free. In January 1925, Usievalad Ihnatoŭski was appointed as new chairman of Inbelkult. By 1926, the number of Inbelkult's departments has grown to include Belarusian language and literature, Belarusian art, historical and archeological (since 1927 socio-historical), the study of the revolutionary movement in Belarus, natural sciences, medicine, agriculture and others. The institute also had two ethnic minorities departments, Jewish and Polish, with independent academic commissions. The Institute also boasted its own library and a natural history museum.[2]

By the end of the 1920s, Inbelkult has attained significant academic achievements in the areas of humanities and natural sciences and further broadened its studies, which prompted the Soviet Belarusian government to reorganise Inbelkult into the Belarusian Academy of Sciences on 1 January 1929.[2]

Academy in Soviet Belarus

During the Soviet period, the Academy was called the Belarusian Academy of Sciences in 1929–1936 and the Academy of Sciences of the Byelorussian SSR in 1936–1991. The first president of the Academy was Usievalad Ihnatoŭski (1881-1931), Belarusian politician and historian, professor of the Belarusian State University.[3]

Although at inception the Academy had only 128 staff members, among them 87 scientists, it became a leading academic center influencing the economic, technological, social and cultural development of Soviet Belarus. By 1941 the Academy had grown to 750 staff and 12 subdivisions.[4]

Stalin's purges caused great damage to the Academy's intellectual potential. The first chairman of Inbelkult and famous linguist Ściapan Niekraševič was executed in 1937 and the first president of the Academy Usievalad Ihnatoŭski committed suicide in 1931.[2]

During World War II the normal activity of the Academy was severely interrupted. Some scientists continued their research at institutions in Russia and other regions of the former Soviet Union but many employees of the Academy were conscripted. Scientific laboratories, equipment, buildings and library funds were burned or looted. In 1945, the total number of employees of the Academy was only 360 people. However the Academy was rapidly rebuilt after the war. Right after the war's end, eight institutes started their activity again and by 1951 the Academy had 29 subdivisions with 1234 staff including 33 academicians. The Academy was supported by the governments of Belarus and the USSR as well as by leading scientific centres in Moscow, Leningrad and other Soviet cities.[4]

Through its history the National Science Academy of Belarus has grown up to a respectful scientific center. A USSR-wide fame had Belarusian scientists like Panas Achrem (chemistry), Mikałaj Barysievič (physics), Fiodar Fiodaraŭ (physics), Vienijamin Vaciakoŭ (medicine, biology), Uładzimier Ułaščyk (medicine, biology).[4]

Academy in independent Belarus

After Belarus gained its independence, the Academy continued its work as the Academy of Sciences of Belarus between 1991–1997. In 1997, it was reorganised as the National Academy of Sciences with the status of the highest state scientific organization of Belarus, responsible for coordinating and conducting fundamental and applied scientific research.[4]

The main tasks of the Academy are defined by legislation as:



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Research facilities

Scientific-application centers

The scientific-application centers (Научно-практические центры, Scientific and Practical Centers) were introduced by Lukashenko's decree in 2006.[6] Their emphasis is the problems of vital interest for the economical development of the country. The first centers of this kind created in 2006 specialize in agriculture. Later in 2006 an e-commerce

Research institutes and centers

Design facilities

Experimental facilities

Libraries, museums, archives

"Belarusian Science" publishing house

Previously known as Navuka i Tekhnika ("Science and Technology").


  1. ^ "The Forerunner of Belarusian Science". Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Інстытут беларускай культуры (Інбелкульт), навукова-даследчая ўстанова" [Institute of Belarusian Culture (Inbelkult), research institution]. (in Belarusian). Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  3. ^ "Усевалад Макаравіч Ігнатоўскі" [Usievalad Ihnatoŭski]. Беларускі дзяржаўны ўнівэрсытэт / Belarusian State University (in Belarusian).
  4. ^ a b c d "History of the Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 31 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Status of the Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 31 January 2022.
  6. ^ "О создании научно-практических центров Национальной академии наук Беларуси и некоторых мерах по осуществлению научной деятельности: УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА РЕСПУБЛИКИ БЕЛАРУСЬ, 18 апреля 2006 г. № 242" [On creation of scientific-application centres of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and certain measures of carrying out scientific activities: Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus, 18 April 2006, No 242]. (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-01-31.

53°55′18″N 27°35′54″E / 53.92167°N 27.59833°E / 53.92167; 27.59833

Further reading

Inbelkult turns 100