Strategic Goals

ASSAf, in its unique position as the only national science academy that is officially recognised by the South African government through the ASSAf Act (Act 67 of 2001), as amended, aims to provide evidence-based scientific advice on issues of public interest to government and other stakeholders.


The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) was inaugurated in May 1996 by the former President of South Africa and patron of the Academy, Nelson Mandela.


The Academy is governed by a Council comprising 13 members. Twelve are elected from the membership and one is appointed by the Minister as representative of the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI).


The core function of any national science academy is to honour and recognise the country’s most outstanding and celebrated scholars by electing them to Membership of the Academy.


ASSAf Members are drawn from the full discipline spectrum. In 2021/2022, ASSAf has 632 Members drawn by self-categorisation from 11 categories. ASSAf is self-perpetuating and new Members are elected annually. 


The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) aspires to be the apex organisation for science and scholarship in South Africa, recognised and connected both nationally and internationally.


The benefits that the Academy aspires to bring to South Africa (and the wider world) are the sustainable provision of a professionally managed organisation that can mobilise the best intellect, expertise and experience.


The key objective of the Academy is to promote and apply scientific thinking in the service of society.