The membership is composed of full, honorary, corresponding and associate members. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be awarded a scientist or engineer. The main mission of HAZU is to promote culture, the arts, sciences and education, all of which are essential for the cultural, social, economic and political progress of Croatia. Throughout its history, since the mid of the 19th century, the Academy's activity has been closely connected with the development of education and culture in Croatia. The Academy's structure incorporates a wide network of the research institutes and laboratories involved in the studies in the basic fields of modern science.