Founded in 1603 as Accademia de Lincei (Academy of Lynxes), named for the animal believed to have exceptional vision. Charter members included Galileo Galilei, but regular meetings were discouraged during and after the Inquisition, and the Academy existed as only a library until the late 18th century. Thrived in the early 19th century until banned in 1840 by Pope Gregory XVI, then restored by Pope Pius IX in 1847 as the Pontifical Academy of New Lynxes. Renamed Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1936, by order of Pope Pius XI. Members are appointed by the Pope, but need not be Catholic.
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