The Imperial Academy of Sciences (often shortened to the English acronym IAS) consists of the national academy of Barrayar and of a network of scientific research institutes from across the Barrayaran Empire as well as additional scientific and social units like libraries, publishing units and hospitals.
With headquarters in Vorbarr Sultana, the Academy is a civil, self-governed, non-commercial organization, chartered by the Emperor. It combines members of the Academy and scientists employed by institutions. The Academy currently includes around 600 institutions and 55,000 scientific researchers.
The Academy was founded in Vorbarr Sultana by Yuri the Mad, and implemented in the first Privy Council Decree, issued in 2861. It was originally called The Vorbarr Sultana Emperor's Own Academy of Sciences. The name varied over the years, becoming The Imperial Academy of Sciences and Arts and The Imperial Vorbarr Sultana Academy of Sciences.
There are three types of membership in the Imperial Academy: Ordinary Academicians, Associate Academicians and corresponding (foreign) members. Ordinary and Associate Academicians must be Barrayaran subjects when elected. Members of Imperial Academy are elected based on their scientific contributions - election to membership is considered very prestigious. As of 3001 there were about 600 full members in the Academy and a similar number of Associate Academicians.
The IAS consists of four Imperial Colleges, grouping in turn eleven specialized scientific divisions, three territorial divisions, called Schools, and 42 regional scientific centres. The Academy has numerous councils, committees and commissions, organized for different purposes.
There are three schools:
- Sergyaran School of the Imperial Academy of Sciences: The Sergyaran School was established in 2957, with Mikhail Ushakov as founding chairman. Main research centres are in Capital City, Valley Town, Aralsgrad, Sergsburg, Black Peak City, South Solstice Town.
- Komarran School of the Imperial Academy of Sciences: The Komarran School was established in 2906, just after the official end of the Komarran Revolt, with Alys Riva as its founding chairwoman. Although Komarran university facilities are all strictly interconnected to the Komarran School, main research centres are in Solstice, Serifosa and Equinox.
- Barrayaran School of the Imperial Academy of Sciences: The Barrayaran School includes the Vorbarr Sultana Scientific Centre, the Countess Vorkosigan Medical Centre in Hassadar, the Vordarian Astrophysics Scientific Centre, the Falco Vorpatril Scientific Centre in New Evias.