The Earth Science Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) is formed by two divisions, namely the Geological Division and the Geophysical Division. The mission statement of the institute as presented here is taken from the foundation charter:
The Geological Division of the Institute carries out and develops basic research in the fields of mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, geochronology, tectonics, palaeoclimatology, palaeogeography, palaeontology, sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy, evolutionary biology, environmental geochemistry and raw materials. Scientific activity is oriented towards comprehensive research on the geological structures, geological material composition and geodynamic evolution of the Earth utilizing the latest analytical methods and infrastructure. The research is bound mainly, but not only, to the territory of the Slovak Republic. The research is substantively characterized by its interdisciplinary character because it is performed on the boundaries between chemistry, physics, biology, climatology, and oceanography. The research is organized in the framework of national funding sources and international cooperation.
The Geophysical Division of the Earth Science Institute SAS is focused on evaluation of geophysical fields and on the assessment of the Earth structure and composition, with a special emphasis on the territory of the Western Carpathians, on the development of methods and approaches for geophysical inferences, and on the research of energy budget radiation in atmosphere and on atmospheric polutions. This division permanently records seismic activities, monitors temporal and spatial changes of the geomagnetic field, and documents slow deformation of the Earth crust as well as non-standard meteorological research. Data from the observatories are permanently evaluated and offer an experimental baseline for geophysical research and expertise in Slovakia. At the same time, the data provided to the international seismic centers and are incorporated into global seismic datasets.
The Earth Science Institute develops geoscience disciplines by solving research grants and tasks. The research activities at the Earth Science Institute are realized in the framework of broad national and international projects and in collaboration with universities and research institutes in other countries. The Earth Science Institute transfers the geological and geophysical knowledge into practice, contributes to popularization of the natural sciences and to the educational outreach to schools and the whole society. The Earth Science Institute also accepts students for PhD study in the framework of the valid Slovak legislation. The institution is a publisher of two scientific peer-reviewed journals – Geologica Carpathica (indexed in Web of Science and Scopus) and Contributions to Geophysics and Geodesy (indexed in Scopus).
The discipline of geological research at the Slovak Academy of Sciences was founded in 1953 as the Department of Stratigraphy and Palaeontology. This department was renamed by adding the Department of Geochemistry and Mineralogy to the Geological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in 1966. A new branch of the Geological Institute was a Department of Raw Materials established in Banská Bystrica by the decision of the Council of the President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences on March 3, 1981, and by order of the Presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences on May 26, 1981. The Geological Institute was incorporated into the Research Centre for the Geosciences of the Slovak Academy of Sciences from January 1, 1989 by order of the Presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences no. 146 issued on December 14, 1988. This centre was re-established as the Geological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences from April 1, 1990, by order of the Presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences no. 15 issued on February 22, 1990. This Institute became a contributory organization in 1993.
The discipline of geophysics was founded by the decision of the Presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences no. 9 issued on August 19, 1953, allocating geophysical laboratories in Hurbanovo to the Cabinet of Geophysics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. By order of the Presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences no. VII issued on June 28, 1965, this cabinet was renamed the Geophysical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences from January 1, 1966.
The Presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences issued the order no. 557 on March 12, 2015 that approved the merger of the two institutes – the Geological Institute and the Geophysical Institute. The Geophysical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences ceased to exist as a budgetary organization without liquidation on July 1, 2015. Its legal successor was represented by the Geological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences that continued as a contributory organization. By order of the Presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences no. 591 issued on April 9, 2015, the Geological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences was renamed the Earth Science Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, with the decision taking effect on July 1, 2015.