Royal Institution

The Royal Institution of Great Britain (English Royal Institution of Great Britain, in the English language often shortened: Royal Institution ) is an organization devoted to scientific education and research.


On March 7, 1799 at Soho Square House of the President of the Royal Society, Joseph Banks in London, designed by Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford called, founded the Royal Institution. Present were leading British scientists of the era including the Benjamin Thompson, Sir Joseph Banks, Henry Cavendish and its first president George Finch. Main tasks of the Royal Institution was, first, the rapid and effective dissemination of useful inventions and improvements, and secondly, a broad pedagogical and journalistic mediation of technical knowledge and the application of new and improved methods, equipment and machinery for farming, crafts and industry through lectures, publications, guides and constant exhibitions. A large part of their start-up financing and the initiative for its establishment were from the Society for Bette Ring the Conditions and Improving the Comforts of the Poor (Society for improving the conditions and improving living conditions of the poor ), chaired by Thomas Bernard ( 1750-1818 ) and Benjamin Thompson introduced. Since its foundation in April 1799 and is headquartered in a house in Albemarle Street, in London's Mayfair. Your royal status was granted in 1800.

During its history, the Royal Institution has the state educational and scientific mission supported by her lecture program. These include the 1825 -founded by Michael Faraday Christmas Lecture.

Since its inception, the Royal Institution has played a crucial role in the development of British science. Famous scientists such as Sir Humphry Davy ( discoverer of sodium and potassium ), Michael Faraday, Sir Lawrence Bragg ( who won the Nobel Prize for his work on X-ray diffraction won ), Charles Hatchett or Lord George Porter, worked there. In the 19th century, Faraday led here by many of the experiments that were fundamental to the practical application of electricity. Fourteen of the members of the Royal Institution were awarded the Nobel Prize. Ten chemical elements, including sodium, as well as the atomic structure of crystals were discovered at the institution. Also, the electric generator and the theory of regression to the mean were developed here.

Royal Institution today

Today the Royal Institution is a modern organization that seeks to promote " the dissemination of science to the application of science in everyday life." Membership is open without appointment procedure or academic requirements, upon payment of an annual fee. School membership is free.

The Royal Institution (abbreviated as the RI today ) has a major development program for science, even in schools. She holds over one hundred courses per year in a wide number of topics. The Friday evening lectures are held weekly. They are given by eminent scientists and are limited to exactly one hour. Admission to these lectures is free and traditionally Events in evening wear for all members and their guests, although this is not mandatory. Many other events and lectures will be held at the Albemarle Road and at other venues around the country.

By 2007, research was carried out at the Royal Institution yet. In particular, in the solid state chemistry was the in-house laboratory as one of the best in the United Kingdom. However, since the house was to serve more in the future others, especially dining and museum, purposes, the scientists decided on a move to the University College London. Thus, no more research takes place in the buildings of the institution for the first time since the founding in 1799.

The Faraday Museum

1973 opened the Royal Institution a museum, which was dedicated to Michael Faraday. It is housed in the main building in Albemarle Street, and is open to the public during normal opening times daily for weeks. There is a reconstruction from the laboratory of Faraday and a second space, the more historical apparatus, including the articles by Faraday contains.

List of Presidents

Beginning with the 1799 had the Royal Institution fifteen presidents.

Further Reading

  • The prospectus, charter, ordinances and bye -laws of the Royal Institution of Great Britain: Together with lists of proprietors and subscribers, and an appendix. London 1800 ( online).
  • Frank Greenaway, Morris Berman, Sophie Forgan, Donovan Chilton (ed.): Archives of the Royal Institution, Minutes of the Managers' meetings, 1799-1903. 7 volumes, Scolar, London 1971-1976.
  • Frank AJL James, Anthony Peers: Constructing Space for Science at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In: Physics in Perspective. Volume 9, 2007, pp. 130-185, doi: 10.1007/s00016-006-0303-5.
  • Bence Jones: The Royal Institution: its founder and its first professors. Longmans, Green, & Co., London 1871 ( online).