The Royal Institution

Playing the interactive elements game in the Faraday Exhibition
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For over 200 years, the RI has been ‘diffusing science for the common purposes of life’.

Venue Type:

Museum, Science centre

Opening hours

Mon-Fri 09.00-21.00
(reception desk 09.00-18.00)

Closed: 23rd Dec-2nd Jan & bank holidays

Admission charges

Admission to building/exhibition: Free

Admission charge for some events including:
Public Lectures
Standard: £10.00
Concession: £7.00
Associate: £5.00
Member/Faraday: Free

Additional info

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.

Collection details

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
  • Lysozyme
  • Laboratory
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Fire and explosions: The science of pyrotechnic effects

  • 15 February 2016 6-7:15pm

How do we make gunpowder and launch fireworks in the air? How do they create the intricate patterns in the sky at firework displays or the bangs, whistles and crackles for sound effects?

Join one of the UK's most popular pyrotechnics presenter Matthew Tosh for a journey from fundamental combustion to the complex and visual effects seen around the world. Be prepared for some fiery demos and explosive bangs at this show for families.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15




abstract image representing body clock

The science of sleep: Melatonin to neural pathways

  • 18 February 2016 7-8:30pm

Why do we need sleep and what are the physiological processes driving our circadian rhythm? When is our circadian clock disrupted and how does this affect our health?

The science behind sleeplessness can help us understand our rhythms so we can help us live better and healthier lives. While hormones, such a melatonin, play a role in driving our circadian clock, the amount of sleep we get and our sleep cycles also affect our hormonal release patterns, with far-reaching implications on our health.

Cognitive neuroscientist Vincent Walsh will chair a discussion with a panel of experts who specialise in circadian rhythms. They will explore how light detection plays a role in our sleep-wake cycles, how hormone release is regulated and the implications of changes to our circadian clock and sleeplessness over time.

Supported by British Psychological Society and Society for Endocrinology.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+




Astronaut on the ISS, with the Earth behind

Family Fun Day: How to survive in space

  • 21 February 2016 11am-4pm

The 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURES at the Royal Institution (Ri) are all about how to survive in space. Dr Kevin Fong is opening a window onto today’s most exciting space missions, exploring the future of space travel, and looking at the challenges of protecting human life in the hostile environment of space.

Come to the Ri’s Family Fun Day and take part in activities and see amazing demonstrations about human survival against all the odds.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13


£7 for children


Edited NASA visualization of climate change to show the world temperatures in 2100

Building a climate laboratory: How climate models have revolutionised our understanding of our world

  • 26 February 2016 7:50-9:15pm

Climate change is arguably one of the greatest challenges that human civilisation will face in the 21st century. We may be taking the planet into uncharted territory, so how can climate science help us to navigate the challenges ahead?

Julia Slingo, Met Office Chief Scientist and High Level Group Scientific Advisor to the European Commission, will examine key processes which control the climate system, and how they are encapsulated in climate models; models that allow us to look into the future and determine the potential impacts of climate change on lives and livelihoods around the world.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+




King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)

Cheats and deceits: Deception in nature

  • 29 February 2016 7-8:30pm

Individuals of numerous species face a constant battle to survive, find food, and reproduce. However, many don’t play fair - they deceive and manipulate others in order to lure unsuspecting prey, avoid attack from predators, coerce mates, and trick others into rearing their young.

Martin Stevens will discuss how widespread deception is in nature, including remarkable examples ranging from ant-mimicking spiders to cheating cuckoos. He will explore the latest developments in understanding the evolution of deception and how it works, along with a range of new discoveries. He will explain how our understanding of deception has been shaped by both Victorian pioneers of evolution and exploration and the latest scientific experiments, and yet how some mysteries still remain.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+




The Royal Institution
The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street
Greater London




020 7409 2992


+44 (0) 20 7670 2920

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.