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The idea of an Academy, as symbol of the spiritual communion of scholars in the agricultural field, is older than the document for setting up the present Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (1969), this idea being deeply rooted in the past concerns for placing such institution on a modern direction.

The brief survey of the history of the Academy suggests reminding both the evolution of this academic agricultural institution organization and our outstanding forerunners who were preoccupied with the creation of a favourable and highly competent environment for coordinating the scientific activity and disseminating the results of scientific research for Romanian agriculture progress.

It is an honorary duty to remind the contribution of some remarkable personalities in the organization of agricultural education and research activity in the field of agriculture of the XIXth century and the beginning of the XXth century that opened the way to organize the academic institution in the agricultural field: Ion Ionescu de la Brad, P.S.Aurelian, C. Sandu Aldea, Vlad Cârnu-Munteanu, G.Munteanu-Murgoci, Gheorghe Ionescu-Şişeşti, Traian Săvulescu, Teodor Saidel, G.K. Constantinescu, Nicolae Săulescu, Ion C. Teodorescu, Marin Drăcea, N. Filip and so on.

Within the first half of the last century the idea of an academy was similar to the notion of high education, a school of superior studies. Consequently, in 1906 the Institute of Agronomic Education – Cluj-Manastur was promoted as the Academy of Agriculture and in 1929 the Superior School of Agriculture from Herastrau was transformed into the Academy of High Agronomic Studies. The foundation of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences can be considered the setting up of the National Society of Agriculture by the Law of 31 March 1913.

By the vote of the General Assembly on 22 May 1941, the National Society of Agriculture ceased its activity and the same General Assembly required the setting up of the Romanian Academy of Agriculture.

Some of the founding members of the Academy set up in 1941, as well as the existing institutions in agriculture such as the National Society of Agriculture and the Union of Agricultural Trade Unions had militated, longer before 1941, for the organization of an academic institution which should call together the outstanding scientists and specialists.

The initiative to transform the National Society of Agriculture into an academic institution with a vast field of activity belonged to the ex-Minister of Agriculture and Demesnes, Constantin Garoflid, who was supported by I. Sichitiu, the Minister of Agriculture and Demesnes in that period of time.

Thus, by Decree-Law no. 2295 published in the Official Journal no. 190, first half (part. I) on 13 August 1941, the Romanian Academy of Agriculture was set up. It is stipulated by this law that "the goal of the Agricultural Academy is to contribute to the progress of scientific research in the field of agriculture, in its broadest sense, and develop in our country the research in this trend by the coordination and cooperation of the Romanian scientific activity and the necessary documentation in the benefit of the practical agriculture all over the country".

According to art. 15 from the same Decree-Law and art. 37 from the Statute of the National Society of Agriculture, the whole movable and immovable property of the National Society of Agriculture was rightly transferred to the patrimony of the Academy of Agriculture of Romania.

It is to remark the advanced thinking for those times, the concern and desire of the ministers who led the Ministry of Agriculture and Demesnes and the Union of Agricultural Trade Unions to support the development of the new institution not only for the initiation and elaboration of the law to set it up but by its material support. Besides the patrimony received from the former National Society of Agriculture, the new academic institution received an important donation (of about 20 millions lei) from the Agricultural Trade Unions, significant amounts of money from some founding members and the Ministry of Agriculture and Demesnes donated to the Academy of Agriculture in Romania “in full possession” (by Decree-Law No. 452/1943) the building in Polona Street no. 8 where the Academy had its headquarters.

By Decree No. 1500 published in The Official Journal No. 116/21 May 1942, the first 47 full members were appointed, the founder members of the new academic institution. Among them we can mention outstanding personalities of those days, agronomists, silviculturists, economists, biologists, veterinary surgeons: Gheorghe lonescn Sisesti, Grigore Antipa, Constantin I. C. Bratianu, Gheorghe Cipaianu, Alexandra Ciaca, Gheorghe K. Constantinescu, Nicolae Cornateann, Marin Dracea, Nicolae Florov, Constantin Garoflid, Ernest Grintescu, Nicolae Juvara, Nicolae Lahovary, Alexandra Nasta, Aurelian Pana, Teodor Saidel, Nicolae Saulescu, Traian Savulescu, Ion C. Teodoresca and so on.

Later on, in the short period of time up to the events in 1944, the Academy succeeded to gather around it many personalities from the research field or universities in those 9 scientific sections newly set up which represented the main branches of agriculture.

Thus, the desire of our illustrious forerunners and some institutions in the agricultural field to achieve a highly scientific and cultural forum which should coordinate and transmit the scientific news to the agricultural practice for the benefit of agriculture came to life.

At the meeting for setting up the Agricultural Academy on 10 July 1942, Constantin Garoflid was elected president and Gheorghe lonescu Sisesti, Alexandru Ciuca and Aurelian Pana, vice-presidents and Nicolae Saulescu, Secretary General. The Academy began its activity by some scientific communications which debated upon problems of agriculture, organization and some laws substantiation, problems of cooperation in agriculture, scientific news published in the Bulletin of the Academy.

Unfortunately, the activity of the Academy was interrupted by the events in 1944 and after 1944. Considering that its structure consisted besides scientists, personalities with important position in the State as well as great owners of land, who in the social conditions of that period of time, were among the first users of the results of the scientific research, this structure became at the same time inadequate and undesirable for that historic period of time, namely the Academy dissolved. The last issues of the Bulletin of the Academy were from August-September-October 1944.
The academic style and mission of the Academy kept on existing in the research institutes and stations, where the members of the Academy, professors and outstanding researchers created a high modern school of research recognized abroad. The research activity developed in the institutes of different profiles: The Institute of Veterinary Research "Pasteur" set up in 1895, The Zootechnical Research Institute (1926), The Agricultural Research Institute of Romania (1927), The Research Institute of Forestry (1933) and so on.

The social transformations regarding the property over land and agricultural exploitation which took place after 1944 led to the necessity to adapt the organization of the scientific research to the new conditions. Consequently, new profile institutes were set up with a network of a large number of experimental stations which supported the development of agriculture by their results. The existence of more than 120 research units, institutes and stations brought back the necessity of a scientific coordinating forum to intensify the modernization process of the research activity and to resume the relationships with similar foreign institutions.

Under such circumstances in 1962 by Law no. 1 on 31 May, the Central Agricultural Research Institute was set up in order to coordinate the whole research activity in the field. In 1969 the Central Institute for Agricultural Research was reorganized and became the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences according to the provisions of Art. 24 – Decree No. 704 on 11 October 1969 regarding the organization and functioning of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Considering this ground on 14 November 1969 the session for the setting up the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (AAFS) took place. The aim of this institution was to concentrate the forces of scientific creation to coordinate the scientific activity all over the country, to capitalize efficiently the results of the research work and organize the production of seeds, seedlings, animals for reproduction, veterinary sera and vaccines, all of them necessary to agriculture.

Since 1969 up to now (2014), The Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences has received 528 members from whom: 455 Romanian members (128 full members, 56 honorary members and 271 corresponding members) and 73 honorary foreign members, scientists from all fields of agriculture: soil science, land reclamation, field crops, fruit growing, viticulture, vegetables growing, forestry, animal husbandry, veterinary medicine, food industry, agricultural mechanization, agrarian economy and rural development. From those 184 Romanian members – full and honorary members, 26 were elected as members of the Romanian Academy (14 full members and 12 corresponding members).

Since its setting up until now, the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences has gathered around it outstanding personalities from research and education fields: Gheorghe Băia, Gheorghe Bâlteanu, Teodor Bordeianu, Marcu Botzan, Nichifor Ceapoiu, Gherasim Constantinescu, Nicolae Constantinescu, Nicolae Cornăţeanu, Vasile Cotea, David Davidescu, Iulian Drăcea, Vasile Gheţie, Nicolae Giosan, Victor Giurgiu, Cristian Hera, Ana Hulea, Nicolae Hulpoi, Mircea Ionescu, Constantin Manolache, Mircea Moţoc, Nicolae Munţiu, Tiberiu Mureşan, Emil Negruţiu, Grigore Obrejanu, Ion Popescu-Zeletin, Ilie Popovici, Ilie F. Radu, Corneliu Răuţă, Ioan Sabin Safta, Nicolae Săulescu, N. Nicolae Săulescu, Irimie Staicu, Nicolae Ştefan, I.C. Teodorescu, Vasile Velican, Viorel Vrânceanu and so on.

Within 1969 - 1989 the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences as a state institution was subordinated to the political bodies which ceased the election of new members. Gradually, the number of members was substantially reduced so that the Academy was threatened to disappear.

After 1990, the process of revitalization and reorganization of the Academy has been raised and amplified, owing to the diversity of the new problems which occurred: the revival of the Academy by the election of new members, the laying down of the research units legal statute, priority research objectives, the adjustment of research programs to the new requirements of supply and demand, the grounding for financing considering competition and setting up new principles of relationships between the Academy and the research units in the field.

The election of new members took place in March 1991 and has gone till now considering the principle of electing real values, mainly to repair the deficiencies due to the ceasing of elections for 21 years.

It was also decided the maximum number of 181 full and corresponding members, 40 Romanian honorary members and an unlimited number of honorary members from abroad and maximum 90 associated members by the revised statutes approved by Government Decisions within 1993-2014.

The new Statute stipulates the election criteria of Romanian and foreign honorary members, illustrious personalities, members of academies from Europe, America, Asia were elected: from Germany, the well-known specialist Prof. Eduard von Boguslavski, the USA, Nobel Prize laureate - Prof. Norman Borlaug, France - Prof. Jean-Mark Boussard, the president of the French Academy of Agriculture, Prof. Bertrand Hervieu, Dr. Guy Paillotin, Dr. André Gallais, Greece - Jean Boyazoglu, the president of the Academy of Agriculture, Russia - Prof. G.A.Romanenko, the president of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences, England - Prof. D.S. Powlson, India - Prof. Jitendra Srivastava and so on. The acceptance of foreign specialists to be members of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences represents for us a great honor being at the same time the proof of recognition that the value of our Academy is acknowledged (the proof of recognition of our Academy value).

In 1992 by Government Decision no. 141 published in the Official Journal no. 60 on 7 April, the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences received the name of the Romanian Scholar Gheorghe lonescu-Sisesti becoming the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences "Gheorghe lonescu-Sisesti".

Since the first years, the members of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences have been deeply involved into the activity of the research units, many of them leading these units or directing and carrying out research programs and projects fully contributing at the development of the scientific activity in the field as well as the formation of the young specialists in the research field by doctor's degree.
Within time, A.A.F.S. has consolidated collaboration relationships with similar well known institutions from abroad materialized by bilateral agreements with numerous academies and international organisms and institutes of research.

The Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences "Gheorghe lonescu-Sisesti" belongs to the Union of European Academies for Science Applied to Agriculture, Food and Environment (U.E.A.A.) together with the academies of agriculture and similar institutions to those from: Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Croatia, England, Netherlands, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, Russia. The president of A.A.F.S. belongs to the committee of this prestigious institution as vice-president. 

Our academic institution is deeply involved in the reality of the scientific research work of Romanian agriculture, permanently militating together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development and Ministry of National Education for updating the scientific research goals for increasing Romanian agriculture competitiveness and performance.