About the Society

The Royal Society of Naval Sciences was born in Stockholm during the reign of King Gustav III (1746-92, King of Sweden 1771 – 1792) and its first meeting was launched at the “Långa Raden” building at Skeppsholmen in Stockholm on November 15th 1771. This was some eleven months after King Gustav’s coronation, but there is little reason to believe there was any link between the two events. The Society has its genesis in the ideas of the Enlightenment, which emphasised educational reforms and the value of vocational and professional qualifications.

The young officers who founded the Society possessed an intense desire to assert the position of the Navy in the current debate on defence policy, and understood that they must therefore be given the opportunity to study and so gain a deeper knowledge of their own profession. Almost from its inception, the Society adopted academic traditions and was probably influenced by the Royal Academy of Sciences, which had been established in 1739.

Christoffer Falkengréen (1722-89) was a naval officer, and an eminent politician who was soon to be appointed Privy Councillor. He ardently believed that a naval officer needed to be both well educated and highly professional, and he was a natural choice when the new Society elected its first Honorary President.