The Parliament of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro passed the Law on the Society for Science and Art of Montenegro on 12th October 1971. The Registry Commission, in its session held on 6th March 1973 in Cetinje, elected 42 members of the Society for Science and Art of Montenegro: 25 full members and 17 corresponding members. Twelve members were members of other Academies of Sciences and Arts in the SFRY. In the first, constitutive session of the Society, the President, Vice Presidents and the Secretary of the Society were elected. Shortly following this event, the Society adopted Articles of Association, established Departments and appointed their Secretaries.

The Society was founded as an independent scientific organization based in Titograd, with its mission to unite prominent scientists and artists from all fields of art, to develop scientific thought, nurture and promote art, perform scientific research and, independently or in cooperation with other scientific organizations, stimulate the work and activity of scientific organizations and scientific workers. At the beginning of 1975, the Society for Science and Art became a fully-fledged member of the Council of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of the SFRY. After three years of successful work, the Society transformed to the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts (MASA). In compliance with the agreement with other Academies and with the Law on Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts passed on 10 March 1976 in the session of the Parliament of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro, a new composition was established (13 full members and 13 corresponding members) since a number of full and corresponding members moved to other Academies.

The new Law on the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts was passed on 27 February 2012 (Official Gazette of Montenegro No. 14, of March 7, 2012). The Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts is constituted by the Law as the supreme national institution in the field of science and arts in Montenegro, of particular national and state interest. The Academy unites scientific potentials; organizes, encourages and develops scientific, artistic and cultural creativity; affirms Montenegrin spiritual, national and state tradition from Duklja to contemporary Montenegro; and contributes to the overall progress of Montenegro.

The title "Academy of Sciences and Arts" cannot be used by other legal entities in their names.

The Academy is independently administered by its members, in compliance with the Law and the Articles of Association of the Academy.

The Academy:

strives for freedom of science and art;
organizes, initiates and implements the scientific research, independently or in cooperation with other scientific institutions;
organizes, independently or in cooperation with others, scientific meetings, symposia, scientific debates, consultations and exhibitions, and promotes the results of scientific and artistic creativity;
supports individual scientific and artistic work of its members as well as in other institutions;
takes part in establishing the programmes of scientific and artistic importance for the country;
assists in training and professional development of young scientists and artists;
issues publications in the field of science and arts;
stimulates and cherishes scientific and artistic critique;
collects, arranges and studies materials in the field of science and arts;
participates, as necessary, in assessing the results of scientific and artistic creativity;
initiates, proposes and provides opinions to state authorities and other policy makers on improvements of problem solving and social development in the country;
cooperates with scientific, educational, cultural, economic and professional organizations and institutions in the country and abroad;

In performing its activities, the Academy:

organizes and implements, independently or in cooperation with other scientific institutions, the scientific research of importance for the cultural, economic, political and overall social development of Montenegro;
organizes scientific consultations and discussions on current issues and problems of social development of Montenegro, as well as scientific conferences, consultations and other meetings of scientists and artists in the country and abroad;
considers the situation in the field of science and art in Montenegro and, accordingly, proposes and provide opinions to state authorities and other policy makers, on its own initiative or on their request, on their further improvements and development, in accordance with the highest achievements and standards in that field;
participates, at the invitation of state authorities and institutions, in preparation and implementation of projects of national and state importance;
cooperates with and represents Montenegro in foreign Academies and international associations of national and state Academies, as well as in other scientific and cultural institutions abroad, and participates in joint projects;
supports scientific and artistic work in other scientific and artistic institutions in Montenegro;
follows and stimulates the development of young scientists and artists, and assists in professional development and affirmation of young scientists and artists;
collects and studies materials in the field of science and art;
prepares the Encyclopedia of Montenegro and other national encyclopedias in the field of science and art, issues publications of the most significant scientific and literary works in Montenegrin or languages in official use, as well as works in other languages significant for Montenegro, significant musical works and the most important works of legal tradition;
organizes presentations of its scientific results, book and artwork exhibitions, issues permanent and occasional publications in the field of science, culture and art, and exchanges them with appropriate organizations and institutions in the country and abroad;
performs other tasks in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Academy. At present, the Academy has 44 members (30 full members and 14 associate members) and 37 foreign members;

The main bodies of the Academy are: the Assembly, the Presidency and the President. The supreme governing body of the MASA is the Assembly, and its executive body is the Presidency, which is constituted by: the President, two Vice-Presidents, the Secretary General and the Secretaries of the Departments.

Presidents of the Society i.e. MASA were:

Academician Branko Pavićević (1973-1981),

Academician Branislav Šoškić (1981-1985),

Academician Mirčeta Đurović (1985-1989),

Academician Dragutin Vukotić (1989-2002),

Academician Momir Đurović (2002-2016),

Academician Dragan K. Vukčević (2016- ).

The MASA performs its activity through Departments, Institutes, Centres, Boards and other working bodies.

The MASA includes four departments:

Department of Natural Sciences,
Department of Social Sciences,
Department of Humanities,
Department of Arts

Scientific-research units within the Academy are: the Institute for Language and Literature “Petar II Petrović Njegoš”, Centre of Lexicography, Centre for Energy and Ecology - ENEKO and Centre for Young Scientists.

Special units within the Academy are: Library with Archive and Gallery with art collection.

For some fields of sciences and arts within the MASA, the boards and other working bodies are active as a permanent form of achieving the tasks of MASA.

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