Like other national academies and in keeping with its responsibilities and tasks, the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) represents an institution that exhibits a kind of traditionalism and almost desirable conservativeness. However, only a tradition that is willing to change in accordance with the requirements of the times and the needs of the environment wherein it originated stands a chance of continuance – this is the experience of SASA. For this reason the attitude towards SASA needs to be one of respect for its well established mechanisms, built on the experience, wisdom and shortcomings of its precursors. However, SASA also requires an attitude that will enable it to observe and recognize crucial moments in time and disruptions in or accelerations of historical and social events and scientific and artistic trends, and to participate, according to its abilities, in changing the circumstances and practices that may slow down or downplay its activities and roles in this country at certain times.
Albeit defined as “the highest scientific and artistic institution in the Republic of Serbia,” when fulfilling its role and tasks, SASA has always been aware that it is part of a network of diverse organizations and individuals and that it needs constantly to augment open and sincere communication with state, national, scientific, artistic, educational and other institutions. In short, SASA operates in the environment and for the environment wherein it originated, on the foundations set by its founders in 1841 and expands its fields of interest and activities whenever it becomes convinced that it is for the wellbeing “of the people of the Republic of Serbia and the state,” as provided in the Law on SASA.
VLADIMIR S. KOSTIĆ
President of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts