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A national academy is an organizational body, usually operating with state financial support and approval, that co-ordinates scholarly research activities and standards for academic disciplines, most frequently in the sciences but also the humanities. Typically the country's learned societies in individual disciplines will liaise with or be co-ordinated by the national academy. National academies play an important organizational role in academic exchanges and collaborations between countries.
The extent of official recognition of national academies varies between countries. In some cases they are explicitly or de facto an arm of government; in others, as in the United Kingdom, they are voluntary, non-profit bodies with which government has agreed to negotiate, and which may receive government financial support while retaining substantial independence. In the countries of the former Soviet Union, and in the People's Republic of China, the national academies have considerable power over policy and personnel in their areas. There is however a growing consensus among international federations of learned academies that bona fide national (or learned) academies need to adhere to certain criteria:
- The fellowship is elected, on the basis of excellence, by existing fellows (members)
- The number of fellows is restricted either to a total number or to a rate of accretion
- The governance of the academy is democratic and “bottom up”. The fellowship is the ultimate source of the academy’s authority
- The academy is independent of government, industry and professional associations. Most, if not all, academies derive some financial support from some or all of these other organizations but this support needs to be given in a manner that does not compromise the academy’s independence.
In some countries, a single academy covers all disciplines; an example is France. In others, there are several academies, which work together more or less closely; for example, Australia. In many states they are organized in Academies of Science.
Academy Standards & Recognitions
Not all academy are of the same prestige and standards. Some academy are relatively new while others are less reputable and less recognized by others. The USA national academy of sciences and engineering comprises the nation's top scientists and engineers. The UK Royal Society of London, for example, has Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein as its early members. The movers and shakers of science and technology are mostly elected in the USA and UK academies, with these academies having the most number of Nobel Prize winners.
Academies formed in developing and under-developing countries are smaller and are less recognized but are formed to set its own standards (therefore different and lower than that of USA and UK) and elected members from its own citizens.
|Name||Country||Remarks||Patron / Leader|
|National Academy of Sciences||USA||founded in 1863 and widely regarded as top science academy in the world||President of United States|
|National Academy of Engineering||USA||founded in 1964 and widely regarded as top engineering academy in the world||President of United States|
|Royal Academy of Engineering||UK||founded in 1976 and widely regarded as top engineering academy in the world||Prince Philip (husband of Queen Elizabeth II)|
|Royal Society of London||UK||founded in 1660 and widely regarded as top science academy in the world||Kings Charles II|
Recently, China has caught up with USA and UK with its own academy members with top world standards. Several members of USA and UK academy are now also foreign members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering. The recognition given to the Chinese Academy was not present in the 1900s and 2000s. The last decade was considered phenomena for China.
- Albania: Academy of Sciences of Albania
- Armenia: Armenian National Academy of Sciences
- Australia: Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Australian Academy of the Humanities, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, National Academies Forum
- Austria: Austrian Academy of Sciences
- Belarus: National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brazil: Brazilian Academy of Sciences
- Bulgaria: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
- Canada: Royal Society of Canada
- Cambodia: Royal Academy of Cambodia
- People's Republic of China: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
- Costa Rica – Academia Nacional de Ciencias (Costa Rica)
- Côte d'Ivoire – Académie des sciences, des arts, des cultures d'Afrique et des diasporas africaines
- Croatia: Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Czech Republic: Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
- Denmark: Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
- Estonia: Estonian Academy of Sciences
- Ethiopia: Imperial Academy (former)
- Finland: National academies based on language. The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters (Finnish: Suomalainen tiedeakatemia) is the Finnish-speaking academy, while The Finnish Society of Science and Letters (Swedish: Finska vetenskaps-societeten, Finnish: Suomen tiedeseura) is mostly Swedish-speaking. In the field of engineering, the Finnish Academy of Technology (Finnish: Teknillisten tieteiden akatemia, Swedish: Akademin för Tekniska Vetenskaper) and Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in Finland (Swedish: Svenska tekniska vetenskapsakademien i Finland) form a corresponding pair. The Academy of Finland is not an academy in the sense of this article, but the state research funding agency.
- France: The Institut de France comprises five academies, including the Académie française and French Academy of Sciences.
- Georgia: Georgian National Academy of Sciences
- Germany: Leopoldina
- Ghana: Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Greece: Academy of Athens
- Hungary: Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungarian: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia) 
- India: The National Academy of Sciences, India; Indian National Science Academy; Indian Academy of Sciences; Indian National Academy of Engineering; Sahitya Akademi
- Indonesia: Indonesian Academy of Sciences (Indonesian: Akademi Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia)
- Ireland: Royal Irish Academy
- Israel: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
- Italy: Accademia dei Lincei for sciences, Accademia della Crusca for Italian language, Accademia nazionale delle scienze; a general and supreme national academy was the Accademia d'Italia during the Fascist period.
- Japan: Japan Academy
- Kosovo: Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo
- Netherlands: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
- North Korea: Academy of Sciences of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
- North Macedonia: Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Norway: Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
- Pakistan: Pakistan Academy of Letters, Pakistan Academy of Sciences
- Philippines: National Academy of Science and Technology
- Poland: Polish Academy of Sciences, Polish Academy of Learning
- Portugal: Academia das Ciências de Lisboa
- Romania: The Romanian Academy covers the scientific, artistic and literary domains.
- Russia: The Russian Academy of Sciences is the main organizing body for fundamental sciences and humanities. There are also five independent specialized national academies: Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences, Russian Academy of Education, Russian Academy of Agriculture Sciences, and Russian Academy of Arts. These are government-funded, but self-governing.
- Scotland: Royal Society of Edinburgh
- Serbia: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Slovenia: Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Spain: The Royal Academy is the main reference body for the spanish language. Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Ferdinand covers the artistic fields; Real Academia de la Historia is the organising body for History; the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences covers the humanities; Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences covers natural sciences and mathematics; Royal Academy of Law covers the field of law.
- Sri Lanka: National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka
- Sweden: Swedish Academy for language, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
- Taiwan (Republic of China): Academia Sinica
- Thailand: Royal Institute of Thailand
- Turkey: Turkish Academy of Sciences is funded by the government but maintains autonomy
- Ukraine: National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Other state organizations also include National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, Minor Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
- United Kingdom: the Royal Society is recognised as the national academy for the sciences, the British Academy for the social sciences and the humanities, the Royal Academy of Engineering for engineering, and the Academy of Medical Sciences for medicine.
- United States: The National Academies of the United States include four organizations: the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), and the National Research Council (NRC). See also American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Letters, American Academy of Diplomacy, Academy of American Poets, National Academy of Design.
- Vatican City: Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Within most countries, the unqualified phrase "National Academy" will normally refer to that country's academy. For example, within the United States, the plural phrase "National Academies" is widely understood to refer to the U.S. National Academies.
- "Five NAE members elected to Chinese Academy of Engineering". NAE Website. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
- "Academy President elected to Chinese Academy of Engineering". Royal Academy of Engineering. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
- Hoare, James E. (2012). "Academy of Sciences". Historical Dictionary of Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-8108-7987-4.