Royal Society

The Royal Society ( Royal Society German ) is a British learned society for science nursing. It serves as the National Academy of Sciences of the United Kingdom for the natural sciences. Its members are as a Fellow of the Royal Society ( FRS short ) refers. The Royal Society awards since 1987 a number of awards for scientific work, especially the Hughes Medal. Others include, inter alia, the Copley Medal, the Royal Medal and the Sylvester Medal.


The Royal Society was founded on November 28, 1660 at Gresham College in London, the Association for the promotion of scientific experiments. The twelve founding members were Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, William Petty, William Brouncker, Robert Moray, Alexander Bruce, 2nd Earl of Kincardine ( 1629-1680 to ), Paul Neile ( 1613-1682/6 ), Jonathan Goddard (1617-1675), William ball, Abraham Hill (1635-1722) and Lawrence Rooke ( 1622-1662 ). The absentee Croone William (1633-1684) was appointed registrar of the Company. On March 6, 1661 Robert Moray was elected the first President of the Royal Society. One of the early members include, inter alia, John Evelyn, Robert Hooke, Samuel Pepys, John Wallis, Thomas Willis, Theodore Haak and the secretary Henry Oldenburg.

The name Royal Society first appeared in 1661 in printed form. On July 15, 1662, Charles II granted the Company a first Royal Charter. You have certain William Brouncker to their presidents and determined the members of the Council. However, the Council of the company was dissatisfied with it and obtained some changes. The second Royal Charter entered into force on April 23, 1663. She put the name of the company as the Royal Society of London for Promoting Natural Knowledge firmly, recognized Charles II as the founder and patron saint and entitled them to run a coat of arms. The second Royal Charter was read at a meeting of members on May 13, 1663. They also acknowledged the President and the Council a right to appeal during a two- month transition period without appropriate choice members in the society. The in this way on May 20 and June 22, 1663 elected to the Royal Society members are called " Original Fellows " means. During the Great Plague of London, the weekly meetings were suspended. The last meeting was held on June 28, 1665, the next again until March 14, 1666.

Motto of the Royal Society is " Nullius in Verba " which can be translated as " by anyone's words " (Probably "on anyone's words swear " - Nullius in verba iurare ). It is the declared will of the society, to establish experimentally proven science that is not content to cite authorities. Although it seems self-evident today, this was the time of establishment a clear break with the hitherto prevailing philosophy of science.

Since 1665, the journal Philosophical Transactions is issued. From 1703 to 1727 stood before Sir Isaac Newton of the Royal Society. Under his presidency, its own building in London was acquired by the beach. 1780 the company premises at Somerset House (London / beach ) are provided. Although the Company's members were elected from the beginning, only since 1847 have been the scientific merits of the prospective member's most important criterion for admission. Women were admitted as members in 1945, the only exception was Queen Victoria.

1857, housed the Royal Society at Burlington House London / Piccadilly. Today, she uses the former building of the German Embassy in London, No.8 & No.9 Carlton House Terrace, as their headquarters, the Royal Society has developed into a major Academy senior scientists.

Contract Awards

The Royal Society awards ten different medals, nine " prizes and awards" and nine " prize lecture ships " in depending on the annual award, two annual or three yearly intervals.

The recipients of the medals and " prize lecture ships " are determined by the Physical Sciences Awards Committee and the Biological Sciences Awards Committee. These committees are composed of members ( " Fellows ") of the Royal Society.

Here is a table of the contracts Medals:

Among the awards counts since 2003 awarded solely to female winners Rosalind Franklin Award. It is endowed with £ 30,000 and honors outstanding achievements in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM ).

Also the Bakerian Lecture and the Croonian Lecture will be held annually.



Here is a list of some important President of the Royal Society:

  • William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker ( 1662-1677 )
  • Sir Christopher Wren (1680-1682)
  • Samuel Pepys (1684-1686)
  • Sir Isaac Newton (1703-1727)
  • Sir Joseph Banks (1778-1820)
  • William Hyde Wollaston (1820-1820)
  • Sir Humphry Davy (1820-1827)
  • William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse ( 1848-1854 )
  • Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1873-1878)
  • Thomas Henry Huxley (1883-1885)
  • George Gabriel Stokes (1885-1890)
  • Lord Kelvin (1890-1895)
  • Lord Rutherford of Nelson (1925-1930)
  • Lord Blackett (1965-1970)
  • Lord May of Oxford (2000-2005)
  • Lord Rees of Ludlow (2005-2010)
  • Paul Nurse (since 2010)


See: Category: Fellow of the Royal Society

Members of the British royal family can be determined to Royal Fellows of the Royal Society in a secret ballot. 2013 Prince Andrew was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. The ballots contained traditionally only the opportunity to tick a 'yes' or to make the ballot invalid. This process led to protests of prominent members of the Royal Society.

More Royal societies

Great Britain

In the 19th and 20th century Royal more companies were established for the promotion of individual sciences.

From the Chemical Society (founded in 1841), the Society for Analytical Chemistry (founded in 1874), the Royal Institute of Chemistry ( founded in 1877 ) and the Faraday Society (founded in 1903) was 1980, the Royal Society of Chemistry.

From the Medical Society of London, founded in 1733 1805 the Medical and Chirurgical Society of London, which in turn is the precursor of the Royal Society of Medicine was established. There is also a Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, a Royal Society for the Promotion of Health.

In 1904, also from precursor associations, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. There is also a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Royal Society for Nature Conservation.

The Royal Societies also often take on functions of professional associations such as the true Royal Society of British Organists.

George IV was founded in 1820 the Royal Society of Literature.

Other Commonwealth

After the English model was the 1882 Royal Society of Canada, based in Ottawa launched.

In New Zealand, the Royal Society of New Zealand exists as an umbrella organization of more than 60 scientific and technological societies.