Being founded in 1690, the Academy of Sciences of Bologna Institute has a history spanning more than three centuries. Among its Members one can number famous Italian and foreign scientists as Luigi Galvani, Guglielmo Marconi, Albert Einstein, Giovanni Pascoli, Marie Curie, to name a few.

The origins: experimental sciences

Established around 1690 in the home of the sixteen-year-old astronomer Eustachio Manfredi, the Academy was originally named Accademia degli Inquieti (the Unquiets) and only later became the Academy of Sciences upon joining the Science Institute founded in 1711 by Earl Luigi Ferdinando Marsili. The Academy was to become an important engine for reform of the Bologna University.

Originally devoted exclusively to experimental, medical and physical-mathematical sciences, it would become a reference point for those who called for a decisive progress of scientific studies in Bologna. In this context, new interest in Malpighi, Cartesio and Newton’s theories as well as in Copernicus, Galileo and Bacone’s doctrines, was to be awakened without, however, excluding a different relationship with "social initiatives".
Within the Institute premises a new training centre for assisting women during labour and childbirth was  opened up and, thanks to the support of Pope Lambertini himself, a surgery school was started, with the mission of curing kidney stones, the illness of that century. The renowned chemist Bartolomeo Beccari studied ways of improving the populations’ resistance against famines, by replacing wheat and corn with alternative cereals such as millet and rye.

The years of scientific progress

Between 1700 and 1800 the Academy of Sciences  reached new heights with one of its Presidents, Luigi Galvani, the author of the 1791 treatise "De viribus electricitatis in motu muscolari", a work that was to revolutionize human and animal physiology in all its aspects.
After 1804, following the turmoil of the Napoleonic era, the life of the Academy was provisionally suspended and then started again in 1829 especially at the behest of the pontifical authorities.
Well supported and cherished by the Popes of the Restoration, like Gregorio XVI, the Academy of Sciences played an authoritative role as consultant to the State. Pope Pio IX would consider it as a crucial institution for advancing the scientific and social progress in the Papal State.
With the severe economic crisis occurred in the former legations after 1860, in  the early years of Italy’s Unification, Bologna had been politically downgraded in many respects. However, it was preparing its reprisal through culture and scientific research, celebrating the University 8th centenary in 1888.

The Fascism and the New Academy of Italy

Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the Academy could count among its Members the greatest scientists of the Bologna cultural environment: Rizzoli, Righi, Cappellini, Calori, Albertoni, later accompanied by a group of well-known humanists, who strived for the creation of the new Humanities section. In 1907, humanists and jurists, who had never been admitted before, were allowed to join the Academy of Sciences. Carducci and Pascoli were among the most active supporters of the new class of Moral Sciences.

With the advent of the Fascist regime, the Academy of Sciences had a first-rate role thanks to the work of some scientists such as Guglielmo Marconi and Alessandro Ghigi within the New Academy of Italy. This decisive role of the Italian culture in the thirties and forties was to cause serious problems to the Institution in the subsequent period. In the aftermath of World War II, as a consequence of the economic crisis, all important Italian Academies were to face a situation of precariousness and uncertainty.