|Purpose||Science, arts, academics|
|134 full members (as of November 2020[update])|
|Presidency of the Academy|
|HRK 68.3 million (€9.1 million) (2016)|
HAZU was founded under patronage of the Croatian bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer under the name Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts (Jugoslavenska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti, abbrev. JAZU) since its founder wanted to make it the central scientific and artistic institution of all South Slavs. Today, its main goals are encouraging and organizing scientific work, applying the achieved results, development of artistic and cultural activities, carrying about the Croatian cultural heritage and its affirmation in the world, publishing the results of scientific research and artistic creativity and giving suggestions and opinions for the advancement of science and art in areas of particular importance to Croatia.
The academy is divided into nine classes; social sciences, mathematical, physical and chemical sciences, natural sciences, medical sciences, philological sciences, Literature, Fine Arts, Musical Arts and Musicology, technical sciences. The Academy started in 1866 with 16 full members which grew to today's 160. Besides full, members can also be honorary, corresponding or associate.
The institution was founded in Zagreb on 29 April 1861 by the decision of the Croatian Parliament (Sabor) as the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts. The bishop and benefactor Josip Juraj Strossmayer, a prominent advocate of higher education during the 19th century Croatian national romanticism, set up a trust fund for this purpose and in 1860 submitted a large donation to the then viceroy (ban) of Croatia Josip Šokčević for the cause of being able to
bring together the best minds [...] and find a way in which books in the national languages could be produced in the Slavic South; the Academy should also take under its aegis all the areas of human science
After some years of deliberations by the Croatian Parliament and the Emperor Franz Joseph, it was finally sanctioned by law in 1866. The official sponsor was Josip Juraj Strossmayer, while the first Chairman of the Academy was the distinguished Croatian historian Franjo Rački. Đuro Daničić was elected for secretary general of the Academy, where he played a key role in preparing the Academy's Dictionary, "Croatian or Serbian Dictionary of JAZU".
The Academy's creation was the logical extension of the University of Zagreb, the institution initially created in 1669 and also renewed by bishop Strossmayer in 1874. Bishop Strossmayer also initiated the building of the Academy Palace in the Zrinjevac park of Zagreb, and the Palace was completed in 1880. In 1884, the Palace also became a host of The Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters that contained 256 works of art (mostly paintings). The same is today one of the most prominent art galleries in Zagreb.
The Academy started publishing the academic journal Rad in 1867. In 1882, each of the individual scientific classes of the Academy started printing their own journals. In 1887, the Academy published the first "Ljetopis" as a year book, as well as several other publications in history and ethnology.
It has again been renamed "Croatian" in 1991 after Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia.
The Academy is divided into nine departments (classes):
One of the research units of the Academy is the Institute for Historical Sciences. It is located in a Renaissance villa in Dubrovnik, and holds a rich manuscript and library collection. Two peer-reviewed journals are published by the Institute, which are fully available online: Anali in Croatian and Dubrovnik Annals in English.
There are four classes of members:
The number of full members and corresponding members is limited to 160 each, while the maximum number of associate members is 100. Number of full members per department is limited to 24. Only the full members may carry the title of "academician" (English: F.C.A., Croatian: akademik (male members) or akademkinja (female members)).
The Academy has recently been criticized to the effect that membership and activities are based on academic cronyism and political favor rather than on scientific and artistic merit. In 2006 matters came to a head with the Academy's refusal to induct Dr. Miroslav Radman, an accomplished biologist, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, and an advocate of a higher degree of meritocracy and accountability in Croatian academia. His supporters within the Academy and the media decried the decision as reinforcing a politically motivated, unproductive status quo.
Dr. Ivo Banac, a Yale University professor and then a deputy in the Croatian parliament, addressed the chamber in a speech decrying a "dictatorship of mediocrity" in the Academy, while Globus columnist Boris Dežulović satirized the institution as an "Academy of stupidity and obedience." Dr. Vladimir Paar and others defended the Academy's decision, averring that it did take pains to include accomplished scientists but that, since Dr. Radman's work has mostly taken place outside Croatia, it was appropriate that he remain a Corresponding rather than a Full Member of the Academy.
Nenad Ban, a distinguished molecular biologist from ETH Zurich and a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina is only a corresponding member of HAZU. Ivan Đikić, a molecular biologist working at the Goethe University Frankfurt, and also a member of Leopoldina since 2010, has not been able to join HAZU even as a corresponding member, despite being the most cited Croatian scientist, with more citations than the Academy's 18-member Department of Medical Sciences combined.
From 2005 to 2007, the Department of Philological Sciences at the Academy released several declarations on the linguistic situation in Croatia, which were criticised for being nationalistically motivated rather than linguistically based. 
Dodao je i da je još jedan Hrvat, inače jedan od vodećih strukturalnih biologa u svijetu, Nenad Ban, takoder član Leopoldine u Razredu za biokemiju i biofiziku.
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