Lithuanian Scientific Society (LSS) is looking back on its development trying to reassess the role of science in modern society, and to find new forms of activity both within a country which is successfully strengthening its democratic system and abroad. LSS was established on 7 October 1989 – at a time when Lithuania was only awakening full of hope for independence and starting to shape its vision of a democratic system, at a time when ideas of restoring independence encouraged everyone to unite efforts and join into public organisations, and when it became possible to reform the existing system of science. The goal of the new organisation was the development and implementation of advanced organisational principles that would form the basis for the system of science and education.
Today LSS is a non-governmental association of scientists and their various organisations. It encourages the participation of all scientists regardless of their areas of activity, institution, position or scientific title. The underlying organisational principles of the LSS are highly democratic, enabling each member to act in the name of the LSS.
The goals of the LSS are as follows:
- the development of fundamental and applied research in relation to the needs of Lithuania’s economy and culture;
- the unification of scientific efforts of the Lithuanian research and educational institutions and organisations;
- the participation in expert assessment of scientific national and other programmes;
- the arrangement of rational funding and coordination of research work; determination and promotion of promising scientific trends and an independent development of science;
- an arrangement for the improvement of research workers’ professional training;
- support of young scientists in their activities, the creation of favorable conditions to scientists to avail the latest achievements in science worldwide;
- the protection of scientists’ creative and social interests;
- an increase of a self-supporting basis of science and the responsibility of scientists, the formation of a positive attitude of the public at large towards research methodologies for the purpose of the general welfare.
Departments of the Lithuanian Scientific Society are independent legal entities formed on the basis of either professional, regional or any public principle. Other Lithuanian and related research organisations are also invited to associate with the Lithuanian Scientific Society contributing to the achievement of its goals. Heads of all associated collective members of the LSS are also members of the supreme collegial governing body.
At present the LSS consists of 24 scientific organisations and 5 smaller LSS groups. It is at the efforts of all of its structural units that the LSS organises various symposia and conferences, arranges for cooperation with scientists in other countries and their societies. One of the key links for the LSS and all scientists is “Mokslo Lietuva” (‘Lithuanian Scientific’), a fortnightly paper that covers the most important aspects of life of the Lithuanian scientific circles, helping to create a cooperative atmosphere for the entire academic community. Jointly with Estonian and Latvian scientists, the LSS publishes “Revue Baltique”, a magazine that addresses social and political developments in the Baltic Region, contributing to a stronger cooperative relationship and the formation of regional policies. The Scientific Society Institute established in 1995 helps in developing applied research, enhances cooperation between various fields of science and promotes technological development. The Institute has an Information Centre, which has become the on-line means of information for the scientific community. The Research Fund of the LSS has recently been re-established, intended for the implementation of a programme to support Lithuanian scientists.
We do hope this brief presentation of all the structural subdivisions of the LSS and their trends of activities will contribute to further strengthening of the relations between scientists both in Lithuania and world wide.