The Science Academy, non-governmental organization (NGO) that aims to pursue the principles of scientific merit, freedom and integrity, independent of government policies. The Vehbi Koç Foundation supports the Science Academy Young Scientists Program (BAGEP) Scholarship Award, which began in 2013 and has funded 10 scholarships every year.
The Science Academy brings together Turkey’s eminent scientists in order to maintain excellence in scientific methods, customs and practices as well as promote freedom and integrity in science. This work includes organizing summer schools, meetings and conferences to discuss scientific research results, new findings, science policy and education, ethics in science, developments of interest to the science community and also providing publications to inform the public and interested public and private bodies.
Following a statutory decree published in the Resmî Gazete (Official Gazette) on August 27, 2011, and which came into effect on the same day, the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), which was established in 1973, ceased to be a de facto autonomous institution and was affiliated with the government. This led to the foundation of the Science Academy on November 25, 2011 by 17 former TÜBA members, who resigned from the TÜBA claiming that it no longer qualified as a science academy. The association, which selects its members exclusively on the grounds of scientific merit from among scientists who have made “important and valuable contributions to science”, stipulates that all members must sign a Declaration of Academic Merit, Freedom and Integrity. Today, the Science Academy has 171 elected members and 32 honorary members, two of which are recipients of the Nobel Prize. The Academy is a member of the European federation of science academies known as the All European Academies (ALLEA).