I. Mathematics, Physics, and Earth Sciences
Research in physics covers a broad spectrum of problems ranging from the basic constituents of matter and fundamental laws of nature to the detection and processing of experimental data from large accelerators. It also includes high-pressure, low-temperature, plasma and condensed matter physics, non-linear optics, and nuclear physics of low and medium energies. Astrophysical research is primarily concerned with solar physics, solar flares, dynamics of solar system bodies, and the formation of stars and galaxies.
The realm of mathematics and computer science covers highly abstract disciplines such as logic and topology, differential equations and their numerical solutions and statistical methods. Even the purely theoretical investigation of neural networks, optimization and numerical modelling is frequently motivated by concrete problems of the natural sciences with applicable results.
The section is comprised of six institutes which have a total of about 1900 employees, of whom about 1150 are graduate research workers
Astronomical Institute of the CAS
Institute of Physics of the CAS
Institute of Mathematics of the CAS
Institute of Computer Science of the CAS
Nuclear Physics Institute of the CAS
Institute of Information Theory and Automation of the CAS
In this section, the investigation of macroscopic properties and new structures of solid, liquid and plasma bodies is based on basic laws of physics. Detailed investigation of microstructures and microprocesses helps to solve problems of material science, such as the mechanics and dynamics of defects, composites, and structures and biomechanics. Modelling of spatially highly structurized flows of various fluids, investigation of hydrodynamics of the biosphere, and plasma processing is also often target-oriented. High-temperature plasma research mainly includes pulsed power systems and problems of confinement and heating of a plasma in tokamaks.
Research in applied physics is often interdisciplinary and finds application in various science and technology areas. For example, synthesis of highly natural and intelligible Czech speech is an important goal of digital signals processing. Unique techniques are used also in the spectroscopy and electron microscopy of living objects.
The section is comprised of six institutes which have a total of about 920 employees, of whom about 580 are graduate research workers.
Institute of Photonics and Electronics of the CAS
Institute of Physics of Materials of the CAS
Institute of Plasma Physics of the CAS
Institute of Scientific Instruments of the CAS
Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the CAS
Institute of Thermomechanics of the CAS
Research in the earth sciences is concentrated in two main areas: global-continental and local-regional. Global-continental research focuses on geophysical and geological problems of the composition, structure, and evolution of the terrestrial body itself, including its envelopes. Local-regional research is centered on features of the inner structure of the territory of the Czech Republic, which represents a geological formation unique in Europe.
The history of the Bohemian and Moravian terranes, oscillations in climate, and environmental changes in the most recent geological past are of increasing interest, as well as paleomagnetism, paleontology, and processes in the rock massifs induced by anthropogenic activities. The causes of induced seismic waves are studied, contamination of soils and sediments mapped, and suitable locations for possible radioactive waste depositories are sought and investigated.
The transient and upper layers of the atmosphere along with the Earth's closer surroundings are investigated chiefly in connection with the physics of the Earth's gaseous envelope. Forecasts of climate and long-term changes in atmospheric circulation focus primarily on the region of Central Europe.
The section is comprised of six institutes which have a total of about 480 employees, of whom about 320 are graduate research workers.
Institute of Geophysics of the CAS
Institute of Geology of the CAS
Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the CAS
Institute of Geonics of the CAS
Institute of Hydrodynamics of the CAS
Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics of the CAS
II. Life and Chemical Sciences
Chemical research continues in the tradition of such distinguished Czech chemists as Rudolf Brdička, Jaroslav Heyrovský, František Šorm, and Otto Wichterle. In physical chemistry, theoretical as well as experimental, research is oriented toward the selected fields of chemical physics, electrochemistry, and catalysis. Inorganic chemistry is directed at the preparation and characterisation of new compounds and materials, such as boranes. Research in organic chemistry and biochemistry focuses on medicine, biology, and ecology, seeking to synthesise new potential medicaments, especially anti-virals. Macromolecular chemistry involves developing, preparing, and characterising new polymers for use in biomedicine, such as those for contact lenses and the separation of compounds. Analytical chemistry is also directed at separation techniques, but on a microscale in capillaries and in spectral methods. Thermodynamics and phase behaviour of fluids, dynamics of multiple phase reacting systems, homo- and heterogeneous catalysis, and modern separation methods are studied in the domain of chemical engineering science.
The section is comprised of six institutes which have a total of 1563 employees, of whom 1106 are graduate research workers.
Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the CAS
Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the CAS
Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS
J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of the CAS
Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the CAS
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS
The aim of research in this section is to increase knowledge about processes in living organisms, from the molecular and cellular levels to the whole organism. Biophysical research is oriented toward studies of DNA – protein interaction and the effect of environmental factors on organisms. In molecular genetics and cell biology, signalling pathways which trigger target reactions and the responses of the target genes to these signals are investigated; special attention is paid to cell mechanisms of immune responses. Studies of microbial genomes and processes lead to modern technologies for preparing metabolites with defined biological effects. Research in mammalian and human physiology and pathophysiology is centered on cardiovascular physiology, neurosciences, physiology of reproduction, and embryology, aimed at creating theoretical bases of preventive medicine. In entomology, insects are studied both as common pests, but also as model objects, as in the case of the silk moth. Research in experimental botany is oriented toward genetics, physiology, and pathophysiology, as well as modern plant biotechnologies.
The section is comprised of seven institutes which have a total of 2214 employees, of whom 1422 are graduate research workers.
Institute of Biophysics of the CAS
Institute of Biotechnology of the CAS
Institute of Physiology of the CAS
Institute of Microbiology of the CAS
Institute of Experimental Botany of the CAS
Institute of Experimental Medicine of the CAS
Institute of Molecular Genetics of the CAS
Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics of the CAS
Research in this section is concentrated on interactions between organisms and environment, and also between organisms. Studies involve earth ecosystems, water ecosystems, and parasite-host systems. Investigations are carried out mostly on the territory of the Czech Republic, and contribute to the bio-ecological mapping of the country. Long-term observations focus on typical ecosystems in selected localities studied from the point of view of geobotany, hydrobiology, soil biology, chemistry and microbiology, and on the eutrophization of selected lakes and dams. Taxonomy of higher and lower plants, especially of algae, is investigated and the information is used by conservationists. The Institute of Botany oversees the care of Průhonice Park, an important part of Czech natural and cultural heritage.
The section is comprised of four institutes which have a total of 1275 employees, of whom 777 are graduate research workers.
III. Humanities and Social Sciences
Since 1989, Czech society has undergone a deep and multifaceted transformation, which has included significant social, political and economic transformation, integration into the European Union and increased involvement in global processes. The analysis of these processes and their consequences for the Czech economy, society and individuals, in addition to the development of basic theoretical research, is a current task of the institutes of this section. The evaluation of the results of past economic transformations, research into open problems of further economic development, the study of the transformation of social structure, factors influencing social inequalities and social cohesion, the theoretical foundations of the new legal system, current issues of personality psychology and social psychology - all of these are topics through which the social sciences enter into a lively discussion with the whole society. The section is comprised of 5 institutes with approximately 480 employees, of which about 180 are researchers with university degree.
The main task of institutes in this section is primarily the research of Czech history in a broader international context. Two archaeological institutes (in Prague and Brno) are engaged in research of the primeval and medieval history of Bohemia, resp. of the Central Danube region, especially from the Palaeolithic to the Great Moravian period. In addition to traditional methods and rescue field research, spatial archaeology, archaeometry or archaeogenetics are also being developed. Historical research, which is represented by three institutes, deals with selected chapters of Czech history from the early Middle Ages to the present times. Critical editions of previously inaccessible sources are important for the more recent period and especially for mapping the key events of 1938-1945, 1948, 1968 or 1989. The study of the history of science, scientific institutions and important personalities of science is also concentrated in this section. Specific research is devoted to the writings of the first president of our republic, T. G. Masaryk, and their critical edition. Art history research focuses mainly on the history and theory of visual arts, architecture, conservation care, aesthetics and musicology. The section is comprised of 6 institutes with more than 450 employees, of which about 280 are researchers with university degree.
Institute of Archaeology of the CAS, Brno
Institute of Archaeology of the CAS, Prague
Institute of History of the CAS
Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS
Institute of Art History of the CAS
Institute of Contemporary History of the CAS
Research projects carried out by the institutes of this section are also important for national culture and education. Literary science deals with the history and present of Czech literature in its linguistic and territorial definition, also in relation to the literatures of other languages and regions, the theory of literature as well as literary life in the Czech lands in the entire historical perspective. Classical studies concentrate on Latin literature in our lands and on the inventory of our literary heritage up to 1800. Linguistics focuses on the research of the national language and its historical development in its standard and non-standard form. The attention of philosophy is focused, among other subjects, on the study of 20th century philosophical trends - phenomenology, philosophy of existence, but also on analytical philosophy and the theory of science – as well as on the legacy of thinkers such as J. A. Comenius and J. Patočka. Slavic studies deals with the literatures and languages of the Slavic countries. It draws on the traditional comparative approach and enriches this view with current trends in European Slavic studies. Oriental studies, which has a long tradition in our country, is devoted to the study of the history, cultures and languages of the Middle East, Central Asia, India, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, and the ancient Near East. In addition to the traditional topics of material and spiritual folk culture, ethnology also deals with current problems of ethnic studies of emigration and re-emigration as well as the adaptation of other ethnic groups in the Czech environment. The section is comprised of 6 institutes with approximately 530 employees, of which about 400 are researchers with university degree.
Institute of Ethnology of the CAS
Institute of Philosophy of the CAS
Oriental Institute of the CAS
Institute of Slavonic Studies of the CAS
Institute of Czech Literature of the CAS
Czech Language Institute of the CAS