On December 21, 2021, Prof. Zeresenay Alemseged was appointed as an Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences by His Holiness Francis at Vatican City and will be receiving an insignia during a Solemn Pontifical Audience at the next Plenary Session in September. A portion of the letter, written by Bishop-Chancellor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, reads:
The Academy, founded in 1603, after a period of vicissitudes was radically reformed by Pope Puis XI in 1936. It is regulated by the Statutes, a copy of which is enclosed. I think that Articles 2 and 5 are of particular importance:
Article 2: The aim of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences is to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences and the study of epistemological problems related thereto.
Article 5: Candidates for a seat in the Academy are chosen by the Academy on the basis of their eminent original scientific studies and of their acknowledged moral personality, without any ethnic or religious discrimination, and are nominated for life by sovereign act of the Holy Father.
We would also like to underline the fact that our Academy is an international and interdisciplinary scientific body. It is subject to the direct authority of the Supreme Pontiff. The Holy See requires the Academy to ‘serve the Truth’, as Pope Pius XI observed when he promulgated the new Statutes.