World Academy of Art and Science

The World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) is an international non-governmental scientific organization, a world network of more than 700 individual fellows from more than 80 countries.[1] Fellows are elected for distinguished accomplishments in the sciences, arts and the humanities. The Academy strives to promote the growth of knowledge, enhance public awareness of the social consequences and policy implications of that growth, and provide "leadership in thought that leads to action".[2] The spirit of the academy can be expressed in the words of Albert Einstein "The creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind".[3]


The idea of founding the Academy and a set of world scientific and youth scientist and science journalist associations was proposed in an article in Time magazine on 1/10/1938 by philosopher and liberal-libertarian Etienne Gilson and during his tours of several scientific associations and universities in Europe and the Americas in the 1940s. He also proposed a world association of Liberal parties, what became www.liberal-international.org, to champion secular democracy and pave the way for better scientific communication and education in a time of growing totalitarianism.

The idea was echoed in the 1950s by leading scientists who were concerned about the potential for misuse of scientific discoveries. They included Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Joseph Rotblat who had been involved in the development of the atomic bomb; Bertrand Russell philosopher and pacifist; Joseph Needham, a co-founder of UNESCO; Lord Boyd Orr, the First Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization; George Brock Chisholm, the First Director General of the World Health Organization; John A. Fleming, former President of the International Council of Scientific Unions; as well as Hermann Joseph Muller, Harold C. Urey, Francis Perrin, Panchanan Maheshwari, Theodore Monod, Detlev Bronk, Harold Lasswell and other scholars and public figures.[4] The Academy was organized in December 1960 with the aim of creating an informal world association of the highest scientific and ethical norms and standards.

Originally established in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1960,[5] in 2011 WAAS incorporated as a non-profit organization in the State of California, USA. The Academy maintains offices in Napa, California; Zagreb, Croatia; Bucharest, Romania; and Pondicherry, India. It has a special division for South Eastern Europe.

Charter Members

  1. Pierre Auger, France
  2. I. Berenblum, Israel
  3. Lord John Boyd Orr, UK
  4. Hugo Boyko, Israel
  5. Lyle K Bush, US
  6. Ritchie Calder, UK
  7. G. Brock Chisholm, Canada
  8. Pierre Chouard, France
  9. Maurice Ewing, US
  10. R. M. Field, US
  11. H. Munro Fox, UK
  12. F. R. Fosburg, US
  13. J. Heimanns, Netherlands
  14. A. Katchalsky, Israel
  15. George Laclavére, France
  16. Harold D. Lasswell, US
  17. W. C. de Leeuw, Netherlands
  18. G. Le Lionnaise, France
  19. P. Maheshvari, India
  20. J. van Mieghem, Belgium
  21. Théodore Monod, France
  22. Stuart Mudd, US
  23. Hermann Joseph Muller, US
  24. Joseph Needham, UK
  25. P. van Oye, Belgium
  26. Robert Oppenheimer, US
  27. Hugo Osvald, Sweden
  28. Paul Pallot, France
  29. Francis Perrin, France
  30. A. de Philippis, Italy
  31. John F. V. Phillips, South Africa
  32. Christian Poulsen, Denmark
  33. Boris Pregel, US
  34. J. Rotblat, UK
  35. Earl Bertrand Russell, UK
  36. Arthur William Samson, US
  37. M. J. Sirks, Netherlands
  38. Harlan Stetson, US
  39. W. F. G. Swann, US
  40. W. Taylor Thom, Jr., US
  41. Solco W. Tromp, Netherlands
  42. Harold C. Urey, US
  43. Franz Verdoorn, Netherlands
  44. Walter W. Weisbach, Netherlands
  45. Albert V. Nikolla, Albania


At present the Academy's membership consists of 730 Fellows, Associate Fellows and Junior Fellows from all parts of the world, representing virtually all fields of science, social sciences, arts and humanities, as well as educators, political leaders, diplomats and heads of leading international NGOs. Fellows are nominated by existing members and directly elected by the members. To be a Fellow of the Academy is to be a member of the global civil society, concerned for the welfare of the increasingly interconnected global civilization with a demonstrated commitment to addressing issues of global importance. Principal criteria for election include:

  • Distinction or leadership in his or her profession
  • Interdisciplinary interests or accomplishments
  • Record of public service
  • Global perspective
  • The candidate must agree to be nominated and to participate in the Academy's work. A Fellow participates in the activities of the Plenum of the Academy, serves on its Committees, promotes its policies, participates in its projects, programs and fund-raising.

Election in the WAAS is considered as one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist. Fellows include leading artists, politicians, statesmen, former heads of various countries, heads of research institutes and international organizations, Nobel Prize winners and business leaders. Fellows of the Academy are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FWAAS.

Reliable Knowledge

Concept of Reliable knowledge

In its approach to the challenges confronting humanity today, the Academy seeks to apply a comprehensive, integrated, human-centered conception of Reliable Knowledge encompassing seven dimensions. The framework is based on the premise that actions based on partial, piecemeal approaches are inadequate to address the pressing problems confronting humanity today and most often lead to unexpected side-effects generative of new and more complex problems.


The central objective of the Academy’s activities is to develop ideas, strategies and initiatives to promote a New Paradigm of Human Development appropriate to the needs of the 21st Century. WAAS’ current programming focuses on addressing challenges in the fields of democracy, economy and employment, ecology, education, global governance and rule of law, nuclear disarmament, peace and international security, scientific and technological development and application.

Elements of a New Paradigm

Current programs of the Academy include specific initiatives focusing on

  • Abolition of Nuclear Weapons—formulation of legal, public policy and social strategies for complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
  • Global Employment Challenge—strategies to achieve full employment and to evolve a theory and global model for employment.
  • New Economic Theory—formulation of a human-centered theory of economics
  • Global Higher Education–conceptualization and design of a truly global, world-class system of higher education accessible and affordable to people everywhere.
  • Evolution of Individuality—the role of formed individuals in guiding the development of creative intellectual and social processes as evidenced by creative artists, original thinkers, business and social entrepreneurs, discoverers, inventors and political leaders.
  • Revolution in Human Affairs—inquiry into the relationship between rising expectations and rising levels of social unrest, violence, fundamentalism and terrorism.
  • Limits to Rationality—analysis of limitations in the application of rationality to solve human problems and in the inherent limitations commonly associated with mind's quest for knowledge.
  • Ways of Knowing—analysis of the inherent limitations and blindspots implicit in the prevailing fragmentary, rationalist, materialistic, mechanistic approach to understanding and solving human problems, including an exploration of new ways of knowing generated by the emerging sciences of systems theory, complexity, autopoiesis and recent discoveries in the physical, biological and social sciences.

World University Consortium

The Academy’s founders intended that WAAS should function as "an informal World University at the highest scientific and ethical level, in which deep human understanding and fullest sense of responsibility will meet." Although some modest beginnings were made to establish a few regional centers of excellence, political conditions at the height of the Cold War, as well as limitations in transport and global communication, posed insurmountable obstacles to realize this vision at the time. Rapid advances in telecommunications and educational technology over the past decade created the opportunity to realize the vision of WAAS Founders.

The World University Consortium in 2013 is a major initiative of the Academy to design a global system of higher education attuned to emerging opportunities and challenges.

Following a major international conference on Global Higher Education organized by the Academy at the University of California at Berkeley in October 2013, the World University Consortium was incorporated in California as a non-governmental organization to promote accessible, affordable, quality education at the global level founded on universal human values, relevant to the emerging needs of the 21st century, oriented to promote full employment, and capable of developing the full potential of each individual student for personal accomplishment and contribution to the collective progress of humanity.

WUC is intended to become a global network and umbrella group working to facilitate educational partnerships and linkages with interested stakeholders with shared goals, to explore creative solutions to enhance the reach, quality and relevance of higher education globally, to provide a platform for new ideas, trans-disciplinary perspectives and integrated courseware intended to address global opportunities and challenges, and to develop ways to draw upon the extensive knowledge and experience acquired by organizations outside the traditional field of academia which possess essential knowledge for addressing real-world problems.


  • Cadmus Journal: a twice yearly print and electronic journal focusing on issues related to economy, security and global governance.[6]
  • Eruditio Journal: a twice yearly electronic journal for examination of ideas and perspectives that fall beyond the purview of traditional academic publications.[7]
  • Op-Ed Newsletter: a monthly newsletter containing short articles by Fellows of the Academy on current issues.[8]
  • WAAS Papers: Articles, papers and presentations by Fellows of the Academy.[9]
  • World Academy Books.[10]


WAAS works in partnership with a wide range of leading international institutions including CERN (the world’s leading research institute in nuclear physics at Geneva), Club of Madrid (an association of nearly 100 former heads of state), Club of Rome (author of the famous environmental report on the Limits to Growth), Fundación Cultura de Paz (Madrid, established by Federico Mayor Zaragoza, former Director General of UNESCO), Green Cross International [11] (established by former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev to promote global ecology), Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin), Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik (international consortium of 170 leading universities), Library of Alexandria (Egypt), The Mother’s Service Society (social science research institute based in Pondicherry, India), Nizami Ganjavi International Centre (cultural institute in Baku, Azerbaijan), Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (on nuclear disarmament).


The Academy is managed by a 22-member board of trustees and a seven-member Executive Committee. The four principal officers are: Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, President – formerly Secretary General of International Association of University Presidents and Rector of United Nations University.

Garry Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer – Vice President of the Mother’s Service Society, formerly Chairman of the Board of the World Academy and Member Secretary of the International Commission on Peace & Food.

Winston Nagan, Chairman of the Board – Professor of Law at University of Florida and former Chairman of Amnesty International (USA).

Ivo Šlaus, Honorary President – Dean of Dag Hammarskjold University College of International Relations (Zagreb) and former President of WAAS.[12]

Past presidents of the World Academy

  1. Lord John Boyd Orr
  2. Hugo Boyko
  3. Stuart Mudd
  4. Marion Mushkat
  5. Detlev Bronk
  6. Harold Lasswell
  7. Walter Isard
  8. Ronald St. John Macdonald
  9. Carl-Göran Hedén
  10. Harlan Cleveland
  11. Walter Truett Anderson
  12. Ivo Slaus


  1. ^ "WAAS Newsletter" (PDF). www.worldacademy.org. November 2013.
  2. ^ "XI International Colloquium". www.internationalcolloquium.org.
  3. ^ "???". www.brunner.cl. 14 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Ivo Slaus president of the world academy of art & science". English.republika.mk. 24 December 2013.
  5. ^ "World Academy of Art & Science". www.mssresearch.org.
  6. ^ "Cadmus Journal". Cadmus Journal. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  7. ^ "Eruditio | World Academy of Art & Science". Eruditio.worldacademy.org. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  8. ^ "World Academy of Art & Science | Leadership in Thought that leads to Action". Worldacademy.org. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  9. ^ "Index of Monographs & Papers by Fellows | World Academy of Art & Science". Worldacademy.org. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  10. ^ "Books | World Academy of Art & Science". Worldacademy.org. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  11. ^ "Green Cross International Partners with World Academy of Art and Science". www.greencrossinternational.net. 27 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Presentation of the World Academy of Art & Science". www.icdhouse.org. 15 April 2013.
  • The World Academy of Art and Science: History and Manifesto.- J. "CADMUS", Vol. I, Issue 2, 2011, pp. 151–152.

External links

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