The Australian Academy of Sciences is a not-for-profit organisation of individuals elected for their outstanding contributions to science and research. It was founded on 16 February 1954 by Australian Fellows of the Royal Society of London with the distinguished physicist Sir Mark Oliphant as founding President. It was granted a Royal Charter establishing the Academy as an independent body with government endorsement.
The Academy's Constitution was modelled on that of the Royal Society of London. It receives government grants towards some of its activities but has no statutory obligation to government.
The Academy strives to support and promote science through a range of programs and activities. It has four major program areas:
- championing, celebrating and supporting excellence in Australian science
- promoting Australia's international scientific engagement
- building public awareness and understanding of science
- providing independent, authoritative and influential scientific advice.