The Institut de France is an institution that was created on 25 October 1795. Today it is under the responsibility of the Chancellor Gabriel de Broglie, who was elected to the Academy of Ethics and Political Science in 1997, to the French Academy in 2001 and who became Chancellor of the Institut de France on 29 November 2005.
The history, composition, activities, and current objectives of the Institute of France make it unique among French institutions. As an institution governed by pluridisciplinarity and patronage, it has been a model abroad.
“Parliament of the Learned” and society of knowledge, the Institute’s main purpose is to bring together the country’s scientific, literary and artistic elites and enable them to work together. This end, i.e., “collect discoveries, perfect the arts and sciences” (Article 298 of the Constitution of Year III) with an encyclopaedic outlook, has been carefully kept in view to the present time.
It groups together five academies which each play a particular role within their own field of expertise :
- The French Academy (founded in 1635) establishes the accuracy of the French language and is committed to the defence of Francophony,
- The Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres (founded in 1663) studies classic Antiquity, Orientalism, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance,
- The Academy of Sciences (founded in 1666) rolls out actions and addresses issues in the field of mathematics, physics, chemistry, natural science, biology, and medicine,
- The Academy of Fine Arts (created in 1816 by merging the Academy of Painting and Sculpture, the Academy of Music and the Academy of Architecture) reviews and fosters the different arts, and has recently included cinema and audiovisual arts in its field,
- The Academy of Ethics and Political Science (founded in 1795, abolished in 1803 and re-established in 1835) drawing on the humanities, law, and economics addresses topical societal issues.