The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, founded in 1857, is a non-governmental, nation-wide, and interdisciplinary body which embraces all fields of learning. The main purpose of the Academy is the advancement of science and scholarship in Norway.
The Academy provides a national forum of communication within and between the various learned disciplines, and it represents Norwegian science in relation to foreign academies and international organisations.
From left to right: Vice President Nils Christian Stenseth, President Øyvind Østerud and Secretary General Reidun Sirevåg. (Photo: Knut Falch/Scanpix)
The Academy has 219 ordinary seats for Norwegian members and 183 additional seats for foreign members. The Academy is divided into two divisions, one for the natural sciences and one for the humanities and social sciences. Including members over 67 years of age, there are 830 members.
The board of the Academy consists of 9 members, including the President, Vice President and Secretary General as well as the Chairmen, Vice-chairmen, and Secretaries of the two divisions. The Academy also has a small secretariat headed by chief executive Øyvind Sørensen.
The main purpose of the Academy is the advancement of science and scholarship in Norway. It provides a national forum of communication within and between the various learned disciplines, and it represents Norwegian science vis-á-vis foreign academies and international organisations. The Academy fulfils these functions by initiating and supporting research projects, by organising meetings and seminars on topics of current interest, by publishing scientific and scholarly works, and by participating in and nominating representatives to various national and international scientific bodies. The Academy also has international scientific co-operation agreements with sister academies in the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary and France
The Academy represents Norwegian research internationally in the "International Council for Science" (ICSU), including its many sub-organisations, and in the "Union Académique Internationalé" (UAI), the "European Science Foundation" (ESF) and "ALLEA" (All European Academies).
The work of the Academy is supported by an annual grant from the Norwegian government, through co-operation agreements with Norwegian industry, and by revenue from various endowments. To improve our services to Norwegian science, we have established The Activities Fund of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Donations to this fund are tax-free, in accordance with the Inland Revenue Law, and may be remitted to bank account No.1607.51.76191
The Abel Prize
Jean Pierre Serre received the first Abel prize in 2003. Here together with Reidun Sirevåg, Secretary General of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. (Photo: Scanpix)
The Academy has since 2003 awarded the Abel Prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics. The prize amount is 6 million NOK (755,000 Euro).
In 2008 the Abel Prize was shared between Jacques Tits and John Griggs Thompson.
For more information about the Abel Prize go to: http://www.abelprisen.no/en/
VISTA for 20 years
tells the story of a successful partnership between Statoil and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters to support petroleum-related basic research.
– VISTA has been an innovator in Norwegian research since it was established in 1985, says Jan Fridthjof Bernt, the Academy’s President.
The Kavli Prize
In September 2008 three new science prizes will be awarded for outstanding research in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. To be called the Kavli Prize, the awards are intended to advance scientific and technological research in key future-oriented areas. Each of
the three prizes will be in the amount of USD 1 million, paid by the Kavli Foundation..
3 May 2005: The agreement was signed by Fred Kavli (right), President of the Kavli Foundation, Kristin Clemet, Minister of Education and Research and Jan Fridthjof Bernt, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. (Photo: Thor Richardsen/Scanpix)