The Royal Institution
For over 200 years, the RI has been ‘diffusing science for the common purposes of life’.
Museum, Science centre
(reception desk 09.00-18.00)
Closed: 23rd Dec-2nd Jan & bank holidays
Admission to building/exhibition: Free
Admission charge for some events including:
The Archive Reading Room is open to the public by appointment, Mon-Wed, 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00.
Includes the original apparatus and papers of many of those who have researched, lectured and lived at the Royal Institution including Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday, John Tyndall, James Dewar, William Bragg, Lawrence Bragg and George Porter. The collection also includes important collections of iconographical material in various media, scientific instruments, as well as a large administrative archive, covering all aspects of the work of the Royal Institution.
Science and Technology, Natural Sciences, Archives
Key artists and exhibits
- Michael Faraday
- Induction Ring
- Volta's Battery
- Humphry Davy
- Davy Lamp
- Count Rumford
- James Dewar
- Dewar Flask
- John Tyndall
- William Henry Bragg
- William Lawrence Bragg
- X-ray Spectrometer
Ri Lates: Life and death
- 10 July 2015 6:30-10:30pm
How did life first begin, and could it be found elsewhere in the Universe? What makes something alive and how does this change as we age? Explore these questions about life and death at our hands-on event throughout our building. Enjoy workshops, talks, food and drink at this sociable night for adults only.
Astrobiology - the hunt for alien life
What is 'life' and how did it emerge on our own world? What are the most extreme conditions terrestrial life can tolerate? And where in the cosmos might we reasonably expect to find ET? Join Lewis Dartnell on a tour of the other planets and moons in our solar system which may harbour life, and to alien worlds we've discovered orbiting distant stars, to explore one of the greatest questions ever asked: are we alone...?
Why should the panda get all the praise? The Ugly Animal Preservation Society is dedicated to raising the profile of the world’s most aesthetically challenged endangered species. Join Simon Watt from the Ugly Animal Preservation Society to discuss the biology of some of the planets least pretty creatures.
The smell of death
Have you ever thought to create semi-palatable perfumes representing different stages of death and decomposition? Probably not. But if you dare, join forensic anthropologist Anna Williams and smell the conconctions, learning about decompostion along the way.
Bring a dead laptop back to life with The Restart Project
Laptops can get dead slow over time, and are routinely killed by software updates. Learn how you can bring them back to life using a solid-state drive running a free and open source operating system using demo equipment for you to try and test. The Restart Project is a social enterprise that empowers people to use their electronics longer in order to reduce waste.
Do you know what poisons are present in your everyday life, and in the food and drink we consume? Join a team from ArtNecro who will create cocktails from their poison menu, explaining the toxicity of everyday items.
Visit Carla Valentine from Barts Pathology museum and see her selection of specimens, and pickled parts. Explore the art and science of pathology, learning why the study of death is so important.
Can you tell a robot from a human? Have a go at chatting in our Turing test booth to find out how intelligent the artificial can be.
Anatomical Society, ArtNecro, Barts Pathology Museum, Queen Mary University of London, The Restart Project, The Royal London, Royal Veterinary College, Science London, The Ugly Animal Preservation Society, University College London, University of Huddersfield
Go8Bit presents... WiFi wars (smartphone required)!
- 21 July 2015 7-8:30pm
Go8Bit is a live comedy/videogaming phenomenon, appearing on Videogame Nation, the CHRISTMAS LECTURES and their own stage at Earls Court. Join Steve McNeil and Rob Sedgebeer as they present a humorous interactive introduction to the cutting-edge technology developed for their show. Bring a charged smartphone/tablet!
About the speakers
Steve McNeil and Rob Sedgebeer have come together to produce Go8Bit, combining Steve's comedic and creative ideas with Rob's knowledge and aptitude with coding and designing games.
They have come to the Ri for a special show bring you comedy, computer science, technology and interaction so you can be a part of the development of new games and mass involvement.
Royal Institution Summer Schools 2015
- 27 July — 28 August 2015
This summer the Royal Institution has an action-packed programme of fun, hands-on educational activities for everyone aged seven and older.
From half day and full day workshops to week long courses running for five weeks from 27 July to 28 August, our range of innovative and interactive Summer Schools are designed to bring to life all areas of science, mathematics, computing and engineering. With over 70 sessions to choose from, covering topics from climate change to acoustics, earthquakes to rocket science, forensics, crash-testing and ancient history there is something for everyone.
The workshops in the L’Oréal Young Scientist Centreoffer students the chance to be a scientist for the day by making explosive bath bombs, extracting their own DNA, investigating forensic science, exploring the chemistry of colour and much more.
In the workshops and Summer Schools devised by the Ri’s Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering Masterclasses team and led by experts from across industry and academia, students can design and build their own underwater robots, have a go at computer coding and mathematical origami, or even try their hand at some 3D printing.
Booking is now open and places can be booked online via the Ri’s What’s On calendar or by calling our Public Programme team on 020 7409 2992.
- 28 July 2015 6-7:15pm
After a popular talk at the February Family Fun Day, Sarah Wiseman is back to give us a run down of human errors and how she works to eliminate them.
Know that embarrassing feeling of waiting for an automatic door to open then realising you have to push a button? Ever noticed how confusing it is that calculators and phones have different keypads?
Technology is speeding ahead but if we don’t know how to use it, or keep making mistakes, it’ll never work quite as imagined. Sarah Wiseman will take you through how she finds ways to make things simple, giving playful and fun examples of day-to-day human error.
About the presenter
Sarah Wiseman works at UCL trying to understand what happens in the brain when we use numbers. She started out doing a degree in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligent and now does talks for young people and adults on top of her research work.
To infinity and beyond: The story of the spacesuit
- 30 July 2015 6-7:15pm
Planning a trip into space? Want to remain alive? You’ll need the right outfit. From the Apollo suits used to explore the moon, to astronaut Tim Peake’s Russian ‘Sokol’ spacesuit he’ll wear to blast off to the International Space Station, these iconic outfits are full of stories and surprises. Join television presenter Dallas Campbell PLUS an actual spacesuit, and special guests British astronaut Helen Sharman and the Science Museum’s Roger Highfield, to explore up close and personal the most epic item of clothing ever invented!
Budding astronauts are encouraged to ‘suit up’ and come in space themed fancy dress. The best costume wins the chance to actually try on a real spacesuit!
Please note: this event is for everyone, especially for families.
Thanks to Mission X: Train like an astronaut for the loan of the real life spacesuit.
About the speakers
Dallas Campbell is a well known (and well travelled) television presenter who has a passion for popularising science and technology. He is best known for science magazine show Bang Goes the Theory, as well as landmark BBC series such as Supersized Earth, Egypt’s Lost Cities, The Treasure Hunters and Stargazing Live.
He is a proud member of the Ri and was a guest on the 2014 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, 'Sparks will fly: How to hack your home’ with Prof Danielle George.
In 2015 Dallas won Celebrity Mastermind with legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog as his specialist subject.
Helen Sharman is British chemist and astronaut, and the first British citizen to go into space. After her degree in chemistry from the University of Sheffield, Helen worked first in electronics and then as a research technologist for Mars Confectionery.
Helen responded to a radio advertisement for astronauts and was selected from more than 13,000 applicants to be part of Project Juno, a commercial British space mission. In November 1989, she began 18 months of rigorous training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre at Star City, Russia. Helen finally launched into space on May 18, 1991, as a research cosmonaut on board Soyuz TM-12 with two Soviets, commander Anatoli Artsebarsky and flight engineer Sergei Krikalyov. Soyuz TM-12 docked with the space station Mir on May 20. The mission lasted nearly eight days, during which time Sharman conducted a variety of experiments including medical tests.
The Royal Institution
The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street
020 7409 2992
+44 (0) 20 7670 2920