The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, founded in 1857, is a non-governmental, nationwide body which embraces all fields of learning. Its main purpose is to support the advancement of science and scholarship in Norway.
The Academy acts as a national contact body both within the individual scientific disciplines and between these, and represents Norwegian science vis-à-vis foreign academies and other international scientific organizations. The Academy ensures the performance of the tasks by initiating and supporting research, organizing meetings and international conferences, publishing scientific writings and appointing representatives to national and international bodies. Each year, the Academy normally organizes 12 meetings with topics covering the various academic fields. The meetings are open to the public. Since 1985 the Academy has cooperated with Statoil on the VISTA program which covers petroleum related basic research.