The Institute

The Istituto Italiano di Antropologia (ISItA) is a scientific institution based in Rome. It is the continuation of the Società Romana di Antropologia, founded by Giuseppe Sergi in 1893 (see below). Every three years the members of the Institute (see below) elect the ISItA council which includes a president, a secretary, two vice presidents, two vice secretaries, eight councilors and a treasurer.

The objective of the Istituto Italiano di Antropologia is to promote an interdisciplinary approach to anthropology which encompasses a synthesis of the biological, social and cultural aspects of the human evolution.

The activities of the ISItA include the:

· active promotion of research in the field of Evolutionary Anthropology, with a particular attention to interdisciplinary approaches;

· flagship initiative Oasis (Open Access Institutes), a set of integrated actions aimed at developing and implementing an Open Data model which covers all the activities of the Istituto Italiano di Antropologia including the web site Opening Science to Society and the online digital archives Anthro-DigiItdoc and Anthro-DigiItdata;

The ISItA supports the initiative Manifesto della diversità e unità umana (english version), started in 2018, eighty years after the publication of the fascist Manifesto della Razza. The ISItA position on the use of the term race is made explicit in a statement approved by the council in 2014 (Italian version).

The ISItA has signed the Berlin Declaration in 2014. An Open Access policy regarding scientific publications, research activities and other institutional initiatives has been adopted in 2015 (Italian version)


Istituto Italiano di Antropologia (ISItA)

c/o Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale Università di Roma "La Sapienza"

P. le A. Moro 5 - 00185 Roma, Italy

tel. 0039 3402378876




How to become an ISItA member

Subscribing is open to students and experts of all anthropological disciplines and is particularly simple. Members will receive e-mails regarding cultural activities of the Institute.

ISItA Council

extended to 2020

Bernardino Fantini, President. Université de Genève, Institut d'Histoire de la Médecine et de la Santé

Giovanni Destro-Bisol, Director, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale

Jacopo Moggi-Cecchi, vice-President, Università di Firenze, Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Genetica "Leo Pardi"

Emanuele Sanna, vice-President, Università di Cagliari, Dipartimento di Biologia Sperimentale

Marco Capocasa, vice-Secretary, Istituto Italiano di Antropologia, Roma

Fabrizio Rufo, vice-Secretary, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale

Paolo Anagnostou, Councillor, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale

Emiliano Bruner, Councillor, National Research Centre on Human Evolution, Burgos, Spain

Marica Danubio, Councillor,Università de l'Aquila, Dipartimento di Scienze

Fabio di Vincenzo, Councillor, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale

Mariano Pavanello, Councillor, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Dipartimento delle Scienze, dei Segni, degli Spazi e delle Culture

Davide Pettener, Councillor, Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica Sperimentale

Telmo Pievani, Councillor, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la Formazione "Riccardo Massa"

Giuseppe Vona, Councillor, Università di Cagliari, Dipartimento di Biologia Sperimentale

Barbara Saracino, Treasurer, Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana, Roma

Historical outline

The history of Istituto Italiano di Antropologia is linked to Giuseppe Sergi (picture on the right), the founder of the Roman school of Anthropology. Born in Messina in 1841, he took part in Garibaldi's expedition to Sicily at the age of 19. After a training in the humanities - he studied law, linguistics and philosophy - he became interested in physics and anatomy and finally devoted himself to anthropology. He was a key figure in the early stages of development of the discipline in Italy. Called to teach Anthropology in the Science Faculty of the University of Rome in 1884, some temporary rooms were assigned to him in the Application School for Engineers of S. Pietro in Vincoli, in the city center.

From 1887 "The Institute lived its first years in the old building..." of the Roman college (picture on the left), where, as a cultural corollary, Giuseppe Sergi dedicated part of the Institute to the creation of an Anthropological museum. In the Roman college during the meeting of 4 June 1893 the promoting committee for the setting up of a scientific society (a "powerful and valid complement of the Universitary Institute of Anthropology") approved the statute of the Società Romana di Antropologia. The first and most enthusiastic supporter of this cultural operation was Giuseppe Sergi, elected President of the Society during the same meeting. In 1937, the Societa' Romana di Antropologia changed its title to "Istituto Italiano di Antropologia".

The "Atti della Società Romana di Antropologia", the official organ of the above-mentioned Society, immediately reflected in the first volume the spirit in which the society had been created i.e. diffuse the "culture of Man in its broadest sense", calling the "cultured Men of Italy and also foreigners" to participate in the writing of articles. In 1911 the Journal changed name to "Rivista di Antropologia". In 2004 the Journal took its current name: Journal of Anthropological Sciences (JASs). The JASs is now one of leading Journals in Anthropology and one of the most cited internationally, with a strong commitment to interdisciplinary approaches. It is currently published in diamond Open Access.

When the premises of the Istituto Italiano di Antropologia were transferred from the Roman College to the University of Rome "La Sapienza", at the end of 1938, the cultural activities were increased under the direction of Sergio Sergi, who had taken over from his father as Director of the Institute from 1916. Both the Società Romana di Antropologia and the Istituto Italiano di Antropologia have been leaded by important researchers coming from different anthropological fields, including, among the others, the malariologist Angelo Celli (1899 - 1900; up, left), the orientalist Giuseppe Tucci (1937-1940; up, right), the founder of genetics in Italy Giuseppe Montalenti (1981-1987, down, left), and the Nobel prize and pharmacologist Daniel Bovet (from 1978 to 1980 and 1988 to 1990; down, right).

ISItA is a member of

and supported by