The Museum of Natural History of the Academy of Sciences of Siena (Accademia delle scienze di Siena), In order to promote the analyzes of the physical world in the light of the experimental method, the Academy was founded on 17 March 1691 by Pirro Maria Gabrielli, Dean of Medicine, Biology and Botany.Today its premises contain valuable geological, mineralogical, palaeontological and zoological samples visible in the Museum of Natural History. Its motto is: “truth is able to overcome incorrect. ”
At its foundation, its headquarters are in the Santa Maria della Scala hospital and in 1694 it is moved to the Sapienza where, a few decades later, Gabrielli realizes the Sienese meridian1 called Eliometro fisiocritico, placing Siena in fourth place in Europe, after Rome, Paris and Bologna.
The Academy of Sciences of Siena, also known as the Academy of Fisiocritici, was founded in the 17th century with the aim of promoting the analysis of the physical world in the light of the experimental method. It still has an intense scientific activity, thanks to scholars from all over the world.
The Academy was founded in March 17, 1691 by the doctor of medicine and botany Pirro Maria Gabrielli, initially under the name of Physical-Medical Academy. The original seat was the Santa Maria della Scala Hospital. The denomination of “physiocritical”, together with the coat of arms and motto of the Academy (Veris quod possit fake victory) was assumed on February 21, 1692.
The finds were increased with collections of Giuseppe Baldassarri (1705-1785), doctor and professor of Natural History Siena the University community, as well as Superintendent of the collection of the Natural History of the Academy and president of the same until death.
The collections of Biagio Bartalini (1750-1822) who succeeded him in the chair and in the care of the Museum were added to the previous one.
The Museum took shape in the second half of the eighteenth century, enriched over the years through donations; It collects collections coming mostly from southern Tuscany.
Around 1970 the Museum has been restored conserving the nineteenth exposure; they are constantly enhancements for greater usability teaching. Since 1996 it is part of the Sienese Museums, today Fondazione Musei Senesi.
In 1694 the institution was moved to the “Sapienza” where, some decades later, Gabrielli produced the so-called fisiocritic eliometer (also known as the Senjian meridiana). Siena could thus become the fourth city in Europe after Rome, Paris and Bologna, of such a tool. After the earthquake of 1798, a new venue was necessary for the Academy, which was definitively identified in 1816 in the convent of Santa Mustiola, disassociated in 1810, via Pier Andrea Mattioli. Today, these premises contain precious geological, mineralogical, palaeontological and zoological finds.
Among the most important academics are Antonio Vallisneri, Giovanni Battista Morgagni, Lazzaro Spallanzani, Linneo, Alessandro Volta, Paolo Mascagni, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti, Francesco Algarotti, Beccaria, Pietro Metastasio, Georges Cuvier, François Magendie, Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring, Luciano Bonaparte and Nicola Demidoff.
The two companies of Siena volunteers engaged in the Battle of Curtatone and Montanara were led by Alessandro Corticelli, then President of the Academy, to demonstrate that the physiocriticians were among the first to support the ideas of freedom and national unity.
The Academy of Fisiocritici publishes the following periodicals of a scientific nature:
“Acts of the Academy of Fisiocritici in Siena”, printed in 1761, represent one of the oldest scientific periodicals published in the world; The first volume is a masterpiece of scientific literature as it was devoted to a very important medical topic for the epoch. It was titled “The general story of the vajuolo’s joints made in Siena. From 1758 to 1760” , Where the method for inoculation of smallpox was shown in a very detailed and scientific way: at the time Prof. Francesco Caluri of Siena was one of the first doctors to practice anti-seeding vaccination.
From 2009, the new series of Acts, the XVI, takes the title “The Journal of the Siena Academy of Sciences”: in English, it is enhanced with the online version, while adapting the editorial process to the new international standards for scientific journals ;
“Etrurianatura”, since 2004 is the scientific-dissemination periodical for a widespread and updated knowledge of the natural heritage of southern Tuscany.
In addition to periodicals, the Academy of Fisiocritici edited:
The “Memorie” necklace, monographs and research results of which the Academy recognizes the particular scientific value (since 1982);
Publications out of the box, since 2006.