Since its inception, the Academy has been a learned society of outstanding Dutch scientists and scholars. Membership is awarded on the basis of scientific and scholarly achievement. Members are appointed for life. Starting in May 2011, the Academy will appoint a maximum of sixteen new members every year (In 2017, sixteen extra female members will be appointed.). Nominations may be submitted by members and non-members. Assessments by external referees will henceforth be taken into account.
Academy membership is regarded as a great honour in the Netherlands. The Academy has ordinary members and foreign members. Until May 2011, it appointed corresponding members as well.
Knowledge-sharing, debate and advice
The Academy derives its authority from its members, who are selected on the basis of their scientific and scholarly achievements. Members meet in the Trippenhuis Building, stately residence of the Academy, to share their knowledge and to debate science policy and other issues of interest to science, scholarship and society. Invitations are also often extended to individuals working in science, politics, business and the arts.
Members make a vital contribution to the Academy's advisory work by taking part in committees and advisory councils. They also bring their expertise to bear in the various Academy juries and panels responsible for awarding scientific and scholarly prizes.
Diversity of the membership
Academy members represent a wide spectrum of scientific and scholarly disciplines. The society therefore gives expression to both the unity and diversity of science and scholarship. To ensure that the Academy represents the full scope of Dutch research, it must embrace new, often interdisciplinary fields of science and scholarship. Various changes will therefore be made to the membership election system in May 2011.
The general meeting of members – the Annual Meeting – takes place every year in May. New members are inducted in September.