Chartered by law in 1961, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities consists of seventy of Israel’s most distinguished scientists and scholars, who, with the help of the Academy’s staff and committees, serve as a national focal point for Israeli scholarship. The Academy’s tasks include preserving and promoting Israeli intellectual excellence, advising the government on science-related matters, funding and publishing research of lasting merit, and maintaining active contact with scholarly counterparts and scientific organizations abroad.
The Academy established the Israel National Science Foundation, as well as a number of other funds supported by private donors. It maintains close relations with ministerial offices in matters relating to national science policy and higher education in Israel and has been instrumental in establishing a coordinating body of governmental and non-governmental agencies involved in science. It represents Israel in international scientific organizations, including virtually all of the ICSU scientific members, and has agreements for scientific cooperation with over thirty foreign academies and scholarly societies.
Israel’s geographic location, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, has created the unique situation in which Israel is a member of a variety of regional associations. Israel maintains Observer status in the European Science Foundation and Associate Membership in the scientific Framework Programmes of the European Union. The Academy is a founding member of ALLEA (All European Academies) and of AASA (Association of Asian Science Academies) and the Council of Presidents of Science Councils and Academies in the Middle East (Jordan, Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Israel and US). The Academy President also serves on the InterAcademy Council and the InterAcademy Panel.