The World Academy of Art & Science (WAAS) was founded in 1960 by eminent intellectuals including Albert Einstein; Robert Oppenheimer, Father of Manhattan Project; Bertrand Russell, Joseph Needham, co-Founder of UNESCO; Lord Boyd Orr, first Director General of FAO; Brock Chisholm, first Director General of WHO and many others. The Academy serves as a forum for reflective scientists, artists, and scholars dedicated to addressing the pressing challenges confronting humanity today independent of political boundaries or limits, whether spiritual or physical — a forum where these problems can be discussed objectively, scientifically, globally, and free from vested interests or regional attachments to arrive at solutions that affirm universal human rights and serve the common good of all humanity. WAAS is founded on faith in the power of original and creative ideas — Real Ideas with effective power — to change the world.
Our motto: Leadership in thought that leads to action
WAAS Fellows come from diverse cultures, nationalities, intellectual disciplines and professions, chosen for eminence in the natural, technological and social sciences; the arts and humanities; different professions and fields of public service. The focus of WAAS from the beginning has been to address global social challenges. Its founding motive comes from the knowledge that academic knowledge cannot be separated or divorced from the social responsibility of how the knowledge is used.
WAAS approaches all its activities from a values-based, human-centered, comprehensive and transdisciplinary perspective encompassing issues related to peace and security, human rights and governance, economy and finance, education and human development, society and culture, technology and ecology. It is engaged in a variety of activities with UN organizations. The Academy collaborates with a network of national centers and international partners around the world.
One of the aims of the Academy’s founders was for WAAS to function as “an informal WORLD UNIVERSITY”. In pursuit of this goal, in 2013 WAAS collaborated with other organizations to found the World University Consortium (www.wunicon.org). In collaboration with WUC, WAAS has been conducting a series of international conferences on future education, curriculum development roundtables to develop new transdisciplinary subjects, and pilot projects in collaboration with experimental partnering educational institutions.
WAAS has been accorded special consultative status by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and consultative status by UNESCO.