OK so as with most birthdays I’m a couple of days late, however, as this one is a 350 years old I’m sure I can be forgiven!
On the 28th Of November 1660 the Royal Society was formed. The Royal Society is a society for encouraging scientific experiment by investigation. It is the UK’s principal scientific society.
The society was given a royal charter by King Charles II for its work as a learned society, today the society acts as an academy of science for the UK and helps fund research fellowships and start-up scientific companies.
New fellows of the Royal Society are elected by existing fellows (of which there are approximately 1450) each year only 44 can be selected from the 700 nominations. Membership is therefore highly prized. Fellows have included some of the most well-known scientists from Boyle to Babbage, Darwin to Dalton and a total of 75 nobel prize-winning British scientists.
The Royal Societies website states that it has 3 roles
- it is the UK academy of science promoting the natural and applied sciences
- a learned society
- and a funding agency
As the UK’s independent national academy, the Society represents the British scientific community within Britain and in relations with individuals and groups of scientists throughout the world.
As a learned society, the Society publishes eight peer-reviewed journals, including Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific title. Awards for outstanding achievement are made each year in the form of medals, prizes and prize lectureships. The Society also hosts various events including conferences, lectures and discussion meetings and houses one of the world’s most important collections of 17th and 18th century scientific journals and books in its library.
As a funding agency, the Society supports more than 460 post-doctoral fellowships and 17 professorships. We also provide grants for more than 3,000 scientists from the UK and abroad to undertake research and participate in visits, projects and conferences. their funding schemes are designed to enhance the UK science base and foster collaboration between UK-based and overseas scientists.