The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann is a publicly funded institution established for the promotion of learning in the sciences and humanities throughout Ireland. The Academy was founded by Royal Charter in 1785. Membership is by election and is open to people who have attained distinction in scholarship as evidenced by their published work. At its inception the Academy had 88 members; now there are over 436, divided almost equally between the sciences and the humanities and social sciences. The Academy maintains a network of committees representing specialist disciplines; through these committees it represents Irish scholarship internationally. The Academy’s home is Academy House, a historic building in the centre of Dublin, which houses a library of international importance, provides a forum for academic conferences and accommodates the great majority of the Academy’s administrative, library and research staff.