The Australian Academy of Science was founded in 1954 by a group of distinguished Australians, including Australian Fellows of the Royal Society of London. The first president was Sir Mark Oliphant. The Academy is modelled after the Royal Society and operates under a Royal Charter; as such, it is an independent body, but it has government endorsement. The Academy Secretariat is in Canberra, at the Shine Dome. The objectives of the Academy are to promote science and science education through a range of activities. It has defined four major program areas: recognition of outstanding contributions to science education and public awareness science policy international relations The Academy also runs the 22 National Committees for Science which provide a forum to discuss issues relevant to all the scientific disciplines in Australia.