Science and scientists (including scholarship and scholars) have an important contribution to make to the mitigation and prevention of international conflicts. First and foremost, they emphasize the search for the truth, which requires an attitude of openness and collaboration. Second, they can provide evidence and information that can settle differences of opinion or reduce tensions. Third, they can offer independent and unbiased advice on policy matters that involve scientific information or require a scientific foundation. Fourth, they educate a new generation of scientists as well as the wider public, thus increasing the intellectual defensibility and democratic foundation of a society. For many of these contributions, an academy of arts and sciences may be used as a functional vehicle. A further contribution can be made by the organizational sciences through an analysis of the determinants and nature of conflict escalation or de-escalation, thus offering starting points for effective conflict management and prevention. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.