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 individual fellows elected for distinguished accomplishments in the fields of natural and social 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.
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, 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 the www.liberal-international.org, to champion secular democracy and pave the way for better scientific communication and education in a time of growing totalitarianism. It was soon voiced 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 outstanding scholars and public figures. 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, in 2011 WAAS incorporated as a non-profit organization in the State of California, USA. The Academy maintains offices in Napa, California; Zagreb, Croatia and Pondicherry, India. It has divisions in North America and South Eastern Europe.
At present the Academy's membership consists of approximately 675 Fellows and Associate Fellows from all parts of the world. 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 counties, 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.
WAAS conducts research and holds conferences and seminars on a wide range of topics and issues relating to the spread and application of knowledge. Its special focus in on multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary perspectives that integrate such diverse fields as art, biotechnology, business, demography, ecology, economics, employment, energy, globalization, global security, humanities, human rights, information and media, international security, law, politics, psychology, public administration, social development and technology.
Current programs of the Academy include
- 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
- 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.
- Cadmus Journal: a twice yearly print and electronic journal focusing on issues related to economy, security and global governance.
- Eruditio Journal: a twice yearly electronic journal for examination of ideas and perspectives that fall beyond the purview of traditional academic publications.
- Op-Ed Newsletter: a monthly newsletter containing short articles by Fellows of the Academy on current issues.
- WAAS Papers: Articles, papers and presentations by Fellows of the Academy.
- World Academy Books.
WAAS is currently conducting collaborative programs and conferences with other distinguished institutions including Club of Rome; Global Security Institute, USA; The Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik; The Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts; The Mother's Service Society, Pondicherry; European Leadership Network; and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, New Delhi.
Past presidents of the World Academy
- Lord John Boyd Orr
- Hugo Boyko
- Stuart Mudd
- Marion Mushkat
- Detlev Bronk
- Harold Lasswell
- Walter Isard
- Ronald St. John Macdonald
- Carl-Göran Hedén
- Harlan Cleveland
- Walter Truett Anderson
- "Cadmus Journal". Cadmus Journal. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "Eruditio | World Academy of Art & Science". Eruditio.worldacademy.org. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "World Academy of Art & Science | Leadership in Thought that leads to Action". Worldacademy.org. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "Index of Monographs & Papers by Fellows | World Academy of Art & Science". Worldacademy.org. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "Books | World Academy of Art & Science". Worldacademy.org. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- The World Academy of Art and Science: History and Manifesto.- J. "CADMUS", Vol. I, Issue 2, 2011, pp. 151–152.