The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) celebrates its 20th year in the service of society this year.
ASSAf was inaugurated in May 1996. It was formed in response to the need for an Academy of Science consonant with the dawn of democracy in South Africa: activist in its mission of using science and scholarship for the benefit of society, with a mandate encompassing all scholarly disciplines that use an open-minded and evidence-based approach to build knowledge.
ASSAf thus adopted in its name the term 'science' in the singular as reflecting a common way of enquiring rather than an aggregation of different disciplines. Its Members are elected on the basis of a combination of two principal criteria, academic excellence and significant contributions to society.
The Parliament of South Africa passed the Academy of Science of South Africa Act (Act 67 of 2001), which came into force on 15 May 2002. This made ASSAf the only academy of science in South Africa officially recognised by government and representing the country in the international community of science academies and elsewhere.
For more on the history of ASSAf
The following events form part of the ASSAf celebrations:
Launch of Women for Science: Inclusion and Participation in Academies of Science
InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Conference and General Assembly 2016
ASSAf turns 20: Young enough to be dynamic and old enough to be trusted with its mission (article in SAJS)