The Pontifical Academy of Sciences originated in 1603 as the Linceorum Academia, was reorganized in 1847 as Pontificia Academia dei Nuovi Lincei, and was reconstituted with its present name by Pope Pius XI in 1936. Its aim is to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences and the study of related epistemological problems. Its work is international in scope, and its membership of 80 Pontifical Academicians is worldwide and non-sectarian.
The Academy holds plenary sessions and organizes study weeks and working groups related to issues of fundamental science, global problems, scientific policy and bioethics. In addition, the Academy publishes the Proceedings of its own meetings, and the results of scientific research and studies of the Academicians and other scientists. It awards the Pius XI Medal to outstanding young scientists.