The Austrian Academy of Sciences, founded in 1847 as the Imperial Academy of Sciences, is a learned society much akin to many of the other great scholarly Academies in Europe. At the same time, it is the leading non-university institution in Austria conducting basic research. Many important scholars both from Austria and abroad are members of the Academy (as full members, correspondent members or honorary members). At the head of the Academy is a committee composed of four scholars elected from among the full members. However, the actual course which the Academy follows is decided at the general assembly and the assemblies of the two principal departments (the Section for Mathematics and the Natural Sciences, and the Section for the Humanities and the Social Sciences), whose members meet once a month. At these meetings the various programmes for research are presented for approval, although they also provide an opportunity for scholarly discussion. The research itself is currently conducted at 19 institutions, five research units and some 50 research commissions all over Austria. Furthermore, the Academy administers numerous national and international research programmes. Agreements with some 22 countries provide opportunities for scholars to participate in foreign research projects on an exchange basis. The Academy also runs its own publishing company, most of its publications being in the field of the humanities and social sciences, although it does also publish books on mathematics and the natural sciences. Scholarly publications are exchanged with kindred institutions all over the world. The Austrian Academy of Sciences at present employs approximately 600 people for research and administration purposes.