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 Academy has 219 ordinary seats for Norwegian members and 183 additional seats for foreign members. The Academy is divided into two divisions, natural sciences, and humanities and social sciences. The Academy provides a national forum within and between the various learned disciplines. The main functions include: initiating and supporting research projects, organising meetings and seminars on topics of current interest, publishing scientific and scholarly works, and participating in various national and international scientific bodies, including ICSU and ALLEA.
Support is provided by an annual grant from the Norwegian government, co-operation agreements with Norwegian industry, and revenue from various endowments.