The Russian Academy of Sciences is a college devoted to scientific study founded by Czar Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Currently headquartered in Moscow and chartered by the Russian government, the Academy has affiliates and branches throughout the country.
During the era of the Soviet Union, membership in the Academy was limited to citizenship within the USSR, and rarely were non-citizens elected. Membership is based upon contributions to science in many fields; currently, there are five hundred full members (acaemicians) and a similar number of corresponding members world-wide. The majority of members are Russian citizens.