The Polish Academy of Sciences (Polish: Polska Akademia Nauk, PAN) is a Polish state-sponsored institution of higher learning. Headquartered in Warsaw, it is responsible for spearheading the development of science across the country by a society of distinguished scholars and a network of research institutes. It was established in 1951, during the early period of the Polish People's Republic following World War II.
The Polish Academy of Sciences PAN was established by the merger of earlier learned societies, including the Polish Academy of Learning (Polska Akademia Umiejętności, abbreviated PAU), with its seat in Kraków, and the Warsaw Society of Friends of Learning, which had been founded in the late 18th century.
The Polish Academy of Sciences functions as a learned society acting through an elected corporation of leading scholars and research institutions. The Academy has also, operating through its committees, become a major scientific advisory body. Another aspect of the Academy is its coordination and overseeing of numerous (several dozens) research institutes. PAN institutes employ over 2,000 people, and are funded by about a third of the Polish government's budget for science.