The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) was founded in 1825 by Count Istvan Szechenyi, the great Hungarian reformer, who urged the introduction of the socio- economic and technical achievements of the advanced countries of contemporary Europe in Hungary. Offering his yearly income for the foundation of the Hungarian Learned Society, as the Academy was called at the time, he set an example which was followed by many, both aristocrats and commoners, so that it might well be stated that the Academy was called into being by the entire nation’s generosity. The Academy, as an independent autonomous body, has always played a leading role in the nation’s scientific endeavour; through its prizes, awards and various grants, it has significantly contributed, both financially and morally, to the development of the Hungarian scientific community. The Academy, as an independent public body based on the principle of self-government, is headed by the President and the Presidium. The total number of Members of the Academy is at present 682, of which 241 are Ordinary, 86 Corresponding, 212 Honorary and 143 External Members. HAS has bilateral agreements with scientific organizations from 49 countries and is a member of more than 200 international non-governmental organizations.