- 1942 – Members of the Australian National Research Council propose the establishment of a Social Science Research Council.
- 1943 – The Australian National Research Council considers the proposal and establishes a Social Science Research Committee.
- 1952 – Nine years later, the Social Science Research Committee resolves to become an autonomous body. A draft constitution for the new body is accepted by the Australian National Research Council and all members of the Committee are invited to become members of the new Social Science Research Council of Australia.
- 1953 – The new Council holds its first meeting with a membership of 44.
- 1957 – The Social Science Research Council becomes an incorporated association.
- 1970 – The Council adopts a recommendation that it become the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.
- 1971 – The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia is incorporated on 7 July 1971. The 96 members of the Council become Fellows of the Academy.
A detailed history of the the Academy and its origins is available in The Poor Relation by former Academy President Professor Stuart Macintyre AO.