The Royal Institution
The Royal Institution
The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street
020 7409 2992
+44 (0) 20 7670 2920
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
Powering ahead with solar energy
- 31 October 2014 8-9:15pm *on now
With a growing global population, an international challenge is to find sustainable sources of energy. Professor Lesley Yellowlees will explain how chemists can contribute effectively to solar energy. She’ll describe the research she and her team have undertaken in Edinburgh to characterise dye sensitised solar cells using techniques such as UV/Vis and EPR spectroelectrochemistry.
£11 Associate members
Free to Ri members and fellows
Arrival of the fittest
- 13 November 2014 7-8:30pm
How do innovations arise in biology? Darwin’s theory of natural selection doesn’t tell us, except that they come about by ‘trial and error’.
Evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner will show how adaptations are not only driven by chance, but rather by a set of fundamental laws that give rise to a world of biological creativity, and to innovations as diverse as animals that fly and plants that harvest energy from sunlight.
Finding where innovations in nature come from begins to place the final puzzle piece in the mystery of life’s rich diversity.
The history of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES
- 19 November 2014 12-12:45pm
The first CHRISTMAS LECTURE was delivered in December 1825 by the Royal Institution’s Professor of Mechanics, John Millington. Two years later Michael Faraday gave his first of nineteen series of lectures, culminating with his 1860/61 series ‘The Chemical History of a Candle’ which produced perhaps the most popular science book ever published. As the Royal Institution’s flagship lecture series it was an obvious candidate for broadcasting by the BBC’s fledging television service in 1936. In the post-1945 period several lectures were televised, but it was not until the 1966/7 series that they started being broadcast annually. These two talks, illustrated by clips, experiments and perhaps the odd explosion, will consider the development, content and impact of these lectures.
- Any age
Humans and other animals: The tangled web of culture
- 26 November 2014 7-8:30pm
Are humans unique in their diverse and wide-ranging cultures? How much of the cultural difference we see can be attributed to the local environment? And what impact can the way societies behave have on the world around them?
Join a panel of experts to discuss how the environment might drive cultural evolution, what impact culture has on the environment, and whether humans are the only species with distinct cultures.
Topology, geometry and life in three dimensions (Friday Evening Discourse)
- 28 November 2014 7:45-9:15pm
If you imagine a three dimensional maze from which there is no escape, how can you map it? Is there a way to describe what all possible mazes look like, and how do mathematicians set about investigating them?
Caroline Series will describe how hyperbolic geometry is playing a crucial role in answering such questions, illustrating her talk with pictures that have inspired some striking examples of digital art.