An afternoon at the Royal Institution and a Guided Tour

23 Sep 2014

A unique opportunity for a guided tour of this historic institution lead by Professor Frank James is being organised by the London Group on 18 November for SCI members and their guests. The tour covers elements of the history and architecture of the building as well as telling the stories behind some of the exhibition displays.

The Royal Institution (RI) was founded in March 1799 with the aim of introducing new technologies and teaching science to the general public.

Over the last two centuries the RI has been home to eminent scientists whose discoveries have helped to shape the modern world. The likes of Faraday, Davy, Tyndall not only conducted their research at the RI, but just as importantly shared this work with a wide public audience.

The RI was founded to introduce new technologies and teach science to the general public through lectures and demonstrations. Humphry Davy, one of the first Professors, established scientific research as a crucial part of the RI's identity, something never envisaged by the founders of the institution.

Over the last two centuries the building and laboratories have been home to famous scientists, such as Michael Faraday, who made discoveries here which have helped shape the modern world.

The RI, like so many other durable British institutions, has managed to preserve and indeed enhance much of its original purpose, while meeting the challenges posed over the past two hundred years by immense scientific and social change - change which the RI played a crucial role in bringing about. It has met these challenges by adapting, when necessary, its structures, where it concentrated its efforts, and in providing innovative programmes. The RI thus enters its third century still promoting 'the application of Science to the common Purposes of Life'.

The tour will commence at 14.30. We are also planning to meet for lunch at 13.00 at the RI Cafe. Numbers for this tour are limited, so advance registration is essential. The registration fee is £5 per person and participants will be responsible for payment of their own lunch at the RI cafe. For more information, and how to book, please click on the link below.

Professor Frank James is Professor of the History of Science and Head of Collections at the RI. He was the invited speaker at the first London Group Members' lunch held four years ago, at Belgrave Square. His main research has been editing the Correspondence of Michael Faraday which is now complete in six volumes. He is currently writing a book on Humphry Davy's practical work.

Following the tour members are encouraged to move on the Chemistry department at UCL for the LRG evening lecture at 6.15 pm, Robert Angus Smith, Acid Rain and the 'Monster Nuisance of All. The lecture is preceded by coffee in the Nyholm Room and is followed by wine and nibbles (also in the Nyholm Room).

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Image above reproduced courtesy of the Royal Institution
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