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
- 3 June 2015 7-8:30pm *on now
Biology appears to be less law-like than its sister sciences, but could we change this with design? Jane Calvert and Alistair Elfick discuss synthetic biology, an emergent discipline that aims to rationally design and fabricate biological devices; and how applying engineering principles to living systems might help us harness the power of the natural world. This is the final of three guest-curated talks by Michela Massimi.
About the speakers
Jane Calvert is a reader in Science Technology and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on sociology of the life sciences, and particularly on attempts to engineer living things in the emerging field of synthetic biology.
Alistair Elfick is professor in the synthetic and systems biology group of the University of Edinburgh. He is Personal Chair in Synthetic Biological Engineering.
Sustainable energy without the hot air
- 9 June 2015 7-8:30pm
If you’ve ever wondered how much energy we use, and where it comes but are fed up with all the hot air and ‘greenwash’, this is the event for you. David Mackay will cut through all the statements from the media, government and lobbies of all sides to give you the numbers and the facts you need, in bite-sized chunks.
About the speaker
David MacKay is Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, having previously been Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics. He started out with a degree in Experimental and Theoretical Physics from Trinity College and went on to gain a PhD. in Computation and Neural Systems. He was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) from 2009 - 2014.
The story of life
- 11 June 2015 7-8:30pm
How was the code of DNA cracked? How did it confirm the theory of evolution? And why did life evolve the way it did? To celebrate their ground-breaking new books, Matthew Cobb and Nick Lane will come together to unravel the tangled story of DNA and answer the vital question: why are we as we are, and why are we here at all?
About the speakers
Nick Lane is an evolutionary biochemist in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London. His work focuses on the origin of life, and the origin and evolution of eukaryotes. He is also author of prize-winning popular science books, including 'Life ascending'.
Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology and a senior lecturer in animal behaviour at the University of Manchester. After spending some time researching humans at the institute of psychiatry, a lot of his work now investigates insect behaviour and its evolutionary and genetic basis, particularly smell.
Zap, crackle and pop!
- 18 June 2015 6-7:15pm
Join Dr Marty Jopson, the BBC One Show’s resident scientist as he takes a sparky journey through the story of electricity. Do you know the difference between current and voltage? With the aid of the audience, Marty will explain. From the Ancient Greeks, through Faraday’s genius, this show aims to put the awesome back into electricity. You may think we have electricity tamed, but are you sure? A show chock full of demonstrations and a plucked chicken. Expect an electrifying performance.
About the speaker
Marty Jopson is a science TV presenter, live show performer, writer and strange prop builder. He is most famous from the BBC's The One Show, on which he has reported on the mathematical formula, Benford’s Law, the origins of the seismograph, the sound mirrors of Denge, the ban on lead in petrol, and the invention of lava lamps.
- Any age
Re-engineering our spaces
- 26 June 2015 7:50-9:15pm
The way we live our lives is challenging us to think of new ways of engineering our built environment and the spaces we live, work and interact in. The words ‘efficiency’, ‘innovation’ and ‘sustainability’ are often heard to inspire this change but what about transforming our lives in unimaginable ways? With the incredible advancement and availability of technology, we can also explore these exciting ‘what ifs’. Join Yewande Akinola as she offers thoughts that challenge the norm and presents ideas that can chart wild imaginations to achievable solutions.
About the speaker
Yewande Akinola is a young,environmental engineer with a passion for designing low energy buildings and sustainable water supplies. Having trained in engineering design, she works in low energy, low maintenance technologies, especially for developing countries.
In 2012, Yewande was awarded the title 'Young Engineer of the Year' by the Society of Public Health Engineers and 'IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year' by the Institute of Engineering and Technology. She has also taken to TV screens presenting programmes about engineering.
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.
The Royal Institution
The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street
020 7409 2992
+44 (0) 20 7670 2920