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, Mr Nelson Mandela. ASSAf is the only national science academy that is officially recognised by the government of South Africa through the ASSAf Act, Act No. 67 of 2001, as amended, which came into operation in May 2002.
The academy was established in response to the need for an academy of science congruent with the dawn of democracy in South Africa – activist in its mission of using science for the benefit of society. The mandate of the Academy encompasses all fields of scientific enquiry and it includes the full diversity of South Africa’s distinguished scientists. ASSAf’s strength resides in the quality and diversity of its Membership; internationally renowned scholars elected by peers, who give of their time voluntarily in the service of society. The Members are regarded as the ‘brains trust’ of the nation.