The World Academy of Art and Science is composed of 730 individual Fellows from diverse cultures, nationalities, and intellectual disciplines, chosen for eminence in art, the natural and social sciences, and the humanities. Established in 1960 by distinguished individuals concerned by the impact of the explosive growth of knowledge, its activities seek to address global issues related to the social consequences and policy implications of knowledge. The Academy serves as a forum for reflective scientists, artists, and scholars to discuss the vital problems of humankind independent of political boundaries or limits, whether spiritual or physical -- a forum where these problems can be discussed objectively, scientifically, globally, and free from vested interests or regional attachments, to arrive at solutions that affirm universal human rights and serve the interests of all humanity. WAAS is founded on faith in the power of original and creative ideas -- Real Ideas with effective power -- to change the world. Its motto is "Leadership in thought that leads to action."
The spirit of the Academy can be expressed in the words of Albert Einstein: "The creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind." Its Fellows share the ambition (as the Founders said in their 1960 Manifesto) "to rediscover the language of mutual understanding," surmounting differences in tradition, language, and social structure which, unless fused by creative imagination and continuous effort, dissolve the latent human commonwealth in contention and conflict.
The aim of the Academy's founders was to function as "an informal WORLD UNIVERSITY at the highest scientific and ethical level, in which deep human understanding and the fullest sense of responsibility will meet."
WAAS has been accorded special consultative status by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and consultative status by UNESCO.