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Doctor Galvani's laboratory.

"At the Academy they cut the flesh of the dead, and trap the lightning from the sky."
—The Heart

The Academy of Natural Philosophy, founded in 1572[1] by Erasmus Kulik,[2] is the chief authority of science throughout the Empire of the Isles. Only the best and brightest are allowed into this exclusive sanctuary located somewhere on the edge of Dunwall.[3] To those not initiated into its high-class academia, the only foray into this prestigious world includes glimpses of exotic crates being hauled into the back doors from the Wrenhaven River, or the odd smells that emerge from several smokestacks atop the Academy.[3]


An ancient and esteemed establishment, the Academy of Natural Philosophy serves as a focal point for the study of nature, the human corpus, celestial heavens, and the physical universe. As such, its halls bustle with chemists, cosmologists, philosophers, alchemists, vivisectionists, and cartographers.[3] The Academy's natural philosophers are also known to be deployed to all corners of the Empire, conducting researches and gathering data, be it geological survey teams in Tyvia, geographers in Morley, or historians combing through Abbey chapter houses in Gristol.[4]

The Academy also plays an important role of educating the next generation of natural philosophers. Renowned scientists and brilliant minds such as Alexandria Hypatia and Kirin Jindosh were once students of the institution, have received training under esteemed professors such as Anton Sokolov and Piero Joplin. Admittance into this prestigious establishment is extremely selective due to a long and arduous application process. First, applicants must wait until the fourth day of the Month of Harvest for The Office of Registrar to be opened and submit an interview request form, stating their details and fields of interest. If the request is accepted, only then may they send an application for a pre-screening interview in the following year.[2] To add to the difficulty, they still have to face fierce competition as only a handful of the finest minds from across the continents are accepted each year.

Organization and Structure[]

"Lucky for you to have an old friend who never left the Academy...Next time you're nearby, come in for an afternoon. We've stayed fairly insulated from the plague, since so few come and go here, and we've got quite the stock of Tyvian brandy."
—Artemis Moore, Procurement Clerk and Provisioner, Academy of Natural Philosophy[5]

The Academy is governed by a Council of seven, who are among the foremost natural philosophers in their fields. The highest position of the institution is the Head of the Academy, who is also a member of the Council. The faculty consists of professors, lecturers, and researchers, while other known positions include Head Porter, and Procurement Clerk and Provisioner[5].

Natural philosophers of the Academy wear different types of robes, signifying their positions. Most academicians have long black gowns, while members of the Council wear heavier gowns in charcoal grey with black banding on the sleeves.[2] The robe of the Head of the Academy is more elaborate and embroidered with golden needlework, depicting celestial patterns in the sky.[6]

Various scholarly and administrative bodies exist within the Academy such as the Alchemical Council, the Electromagnetism Council, the Convocation of Etiology, the Chamber of Smoke and Iron, and the Guild of Metallurgy. Some of them are academic departments, while others serve unknown functions.

The Campus[]

Located in 15 Oxblood Way,[7] the Academy stands proudly with its perpendicular columns and Gothic arches. A bronze statue of its founder, Erasmus Kulik, can be found at the center of the Academy square, and behind it, a sweeping scallop-shaped stone stair leads inside the building. There is also a cloister and an overgrown garden that make up the rear part of the campus.

The entrance hall is a cavernous stone space, topped by a three, four stories high vaulted ceiling. The hall is roughly epileptical, with a massive staircase opposite the entrance, splitting at a gallery before extending to either sides. Two glass-fronted offices flank the grand staircase, while on both sides of the hall, there are straight, narrower stairs, leading up into darken corridors. An enormous skeleton of a whale dominated the center of the hall, suspended from the ceiling.

As part of the campus, the Council chamber is a large octagonal room with a high stained glass ceiling. In the middle of the room, sits a huge eight-sided oak table where council meetings are convened. [2]

Heads of the Academy of Natural Philosophy[]

  • Anton Sokolov (1822-?)[8]
  • Heironyma Finch (c.1849-1853)[9][10]


  • Esmond Roseburrow was a natural philosopher whose ideas were rejected across the Isles but eventually revolutionized industry with his studies on refined Whale Oil. It is not clear if he was expelled from the academy or left on his own.[11]
  • Anton Sokolov is a researcher, artist and inventor who improved on Roseburrow's work and brought a new age of industry throughout the Empire.
  • Piero Joplin was the youngest person to ever attend the Academy and one of the keenest, but was expelled for unknown reasons (thanks partially to Sokolov, who approved the decision). He returned to the Academy after the rat plague to teach the next generation of students.[12]
  • William Trimble studied at the Academy for a time, and he and Piero clashed often over their theories on the preservation of mortifying tissue. The conflict was finally resolved with a coin toss, which Trimble lost.[13]
  • Luigi Galvani has some sort of connection to the Academy, but it is not clear if he was a student or a professor.[5]
  • Douglas Church is a researcher who invented a diving bell to study whales in the deep sea and nearly lost his life during the submersible's test.
  • Doctor Toksvig is Sokolov's successor as Royal Physician to the Empress and studied under him.[14]
  • Kirin Jindosh was one of the keenest minds at the Academy and worked toward a Master of Engineering. He was banned for life and his work revoked for unspecified reasons.[15][16]
  • Alexandria Hypatia studied at the Academy under Sokolov and Joplin.[12] She graduated Doctor of Medicine in 1838[17] and helped found the Addermire Institute of Infectious Disease in place of the old Addermire Institute in Karnaca, becoming its Chief Alchemist in the process.
  • Malchiodi spent his youth at the Academy.[18]
  • Bartholomeus Vasco was top of his class and later recruited by Alexandria Hypatia to be her assistant.[19]


  • The Academy is similar to the real-world Royal Society of London. They both exist as institutions for the betterment of research and sciences.
  • It is rumored that Daud attended the Academy for a winter.[20] This is further implied by Galia Fleet, who recalls Daud making cryptic comments to describe the Academy.[21]
  • The cover for the art book Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives states that the book was compiled by "Merrit's Printing Firm for the Academy of Natural Philosophy."
  • A replica of the Heart is housed at the the Academy.[7]
  • During the events of Dishonored 2, the Academy distanced themselves from events, not expressing any opinions on the changes.
  • The Academy of Natural Philosophy is sometimes called the Academy of Natural Sciences.[22]