The Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) is the most significant national non-university research institution in Poland. The Academy was founded in Warsaw in 1952 and from the very beginning it has functioned as a learned society with its mission to promote the comprehensive advancement of science, coordinate scientific, theoretical, and empirical research, and provide expertise for practical applications. These goals are being attained through the mutual interaction of two separate structures that constitute to the Academy: (i) the autonomous and self-governed corporation of scholars with around 350 national and correspondent members and about 190 foreign members; (ii) a network of scientific establishments of the Academy (including IFiS).
The Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (IFiS) was established in 1956 and is currently one of the leading centres at the Academy. Its primary objective is to carry out advanced research in philosophy and sociology as well as in cognitive and communication fields. Apart from its research activity, it is also engaged in the publishing, education and popularisation of science. The Institute is an academic institution recognized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education as one of the country’s leading scientific units – in 2004, it gained the status of a Centre of Excellence in social sciences and humanities.
Since early 1990, the Institute has been involved in over 200 national, European and worldwide research projects covering numerous areas in social sciences and philosophy, promoting also inter- and cross-disciplinary approaches. The most recent missions of the Institute contain projects within Framework Programmes 6 and 7 (2002-2013) and HORIZON 2020. The Institute achieves consistent success in attracting research grants from various organizations resulting in hosting researchers with, among many others, Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships or ERC grants (such as KnowStudents). Since 2000, IFiS has been engaged in the implementation of the European Social Survey (ESS), one of the most important social science surveys in Europe. In addition, the Institute collaborates with the Max Planck Institute in Germany and is also a member of an international network of scholars CONSIRT Program (Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training Program), established jointly by the Department of Sociology and Political Science of Ohio State University and IFiS PAN. Many IFiS scholars have won worldwide recognition, published in several languages and were awarded honoris causa doctorates from prominent universities. The IFiS professors also lectured at foreign universities and colleges, including inter alia: Geneva University, Souls College, Oxford, Ohio State University, Notre Dame University, Australian National University, Melbourne University, New York University.
The Institute has its own publishing house (Wydawnictwo Instytutu Filozofii i Socjologii PAN), which publishes academic books both in Polish and English, and also issues (independently or in cooperation with other academic units) a range of prestigious, well-recognized journals in the areas of philosophy and sociology, such as “Studia Logica”, “Archiwum Historii Filozofii i Myśli Społecznej” (Archive of History of Philosophy and Social Thought), “Filozofia i Nauka” (Philosophy and Science), and more. Established in 1956, the library of IFiS PAN offers immense and precious collections with resources in the social sciences and philosophy and it has been included into the group of libraries that constitute the national library stock by the decision of the Ministry of Culture and Art in 1998. Approximately one third of the materials consists of foreign language literature, mostly in English, German and French.
The Institute also provides didactic opportunities. The Graduate School for Social Research (GSSR) was established at IFiS PAN, together with the Institutes of Psychology and of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, in 1992. The School’s objective is to train students in the field of contemporary social and cultural sciences through a scope of interdisciplinary approaches to research backed by rigorous methodological training during both, MA and PhD programmes. GSSR participates in a Dual PhD degree programme with Lancaster University (UK).
In addition to research activities, the Institute organizes public debates about the country and society, devoted to the situation of Poland in Europe, problems of democracy and changes in culture, and tradition and social relations. IFiS also maintains close links with non-academic entities, commerce and the professions.
Information about the Institute and its structure, current scholars, research teams, projects and other activities can be found at the IFiS PAN website which is regularly updated.