The Committees of the Polish Academy of Sciences serve as bodies representing various research circles and disciplines. Their members, elected by the research communities in specific fields (physicists, biochemists, sociologists, etc.) include scientists of the Polish Academy of Sciences of respective disciplines, outstanding research workers of higher education establishments, research centers of the Polish Academy of Sciences, departmental research units and of economic and social organizations. They serve in an advisory capacity on issues related to technology, engineering, biology, medicine, Earth sciences, social sciences, humanities, agricultural sciences, etc. They draw up position statements and expert studies for the needs of Polish public administration, and assist in resolving specific science-related issues. They also issue opinions on new legal regulations meant to affect science, its applications, and education. They likewise work to promote broader awareness of research findings and also support the development of specific fields.
The number of committees is not fixed, with new ones being set up in response to problems pertaining to the development of science or of the country, which the voice of scientists may prove helpful in deliberating.
Most of the committees are affiliated with a particular Division, although some – 18 at present – are instead affiliated directly with the Presidium of the Academy.
There are three kinds of committees of the Polish Academy of Sciences:
Scientific Committees – bodies representing the research community in specific scientific disciplines, integrating researchers across Poland
Division I: Humanities and Social Sciences
Division II: Biological and Agricultural Sciences
Division III: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Division IV: Engineering Sciences
Division V: Medical Sciences
Task-force Committees – specially-selected teams of experts for addressing specific tasks
Committees affiliated with Presidium of the Academy:
- The Committee on Bioethics PAS
- The Committee on Energy PAS
- The Committee on Polar Research PAS
- The Committee on Space and Satellite Research PAS
- The Committee on Spatial Economy and Regional Planning PAS
- The "Poland 2000 Plus" Forecast Committee PAS
- The Council for Scientific Societies PAS
- The Council for the Polish Language PAS
- The Council for the Promotion of the Public Understanding of Science PAS
Committee affiliated with Division I: Humanities and Social Sciences
- The Committee on Ethics in Science PAS
- The Committee on Science Studies PAS
- The Research Committee on Human Migration PAS
Committee affiliated with Division IV: Engineering Sciences
- The Committee on Water Management PAS
National Committees – bodies appointed to maintain and develop cooperative ties with international research organizations
National Committees are the bodies of the Polish Academy of Sciences established with the purpose of representing Polish science towards international scientific organizations and to organize and coordinate the undertakings resulting from the membership in those organizations. The composition of the committees secures the representation of the whole scientific community of the country. National committees for the cooperation with the international organizations of interdisciplinary character are affiliated with the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences. National committees for the cooperation with the international organizations investigating the disciplines covered by the given division are set up at the Academy’s divisions. The function of national committees is also performed by a number of scientific committees, pursuant to the resolutions of the Academy’s Presidium.