Home Journal 350th Anniversary of The Royal Society

350th Anniversary of The Royal Society

by John

The Royal Society

Today marks the 350th anniversary of the founding of The Royal Society. To give it it’s full name, The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. The 1400 fellows of the society are committed to expanding knowledge and supporting science in the UK and around the world.

The story goes that on the 28th of November 1660 a dozen men met to hear the young Christopher Wren deliver a lecture. These were all members of what Robert Boyle called “our invisible college”, an informal collective of natural philosophers dedicated to the scientific method originally promoted by Francis Bacon. The group were given a royal charter by Charles II and subsequent monarchs have all been patrons of the society.

Another founding member was the polymath and “England’s Leonardo”, Robert Hooke. In a letter to Hooke in 1642, a young Isaac Newton famously remarked:

“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

In this one comment he illuminates the value of the scientific method. A freely available body of knowledge founded on proof and checked by peer review. Newton would go on to become president of the Society from 1703 until his death.

Other presidents have included Samuel Pepys, Ernest Rutherford, Joseph Banks, Joseph Lister, Hans Sloane, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) and the current president, the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees of Ludlow. The inventions and discoveries of the fellows of the Royal Society have built the world we live in. We stand on the shoulders of giants every day.

You may also like


Sophie Goodger June 17, 02016 - 1:47 pm


My name is Sophie and I am helping The Royal Society with their digital marketing.

I am currently trying to ensure that it is only the new version of their logo is displayed in Google and I’d like to request a favour from you relating to that.

On this page of yours, I can see that you display the old Royal Society logo and I was wondering if you’d be kind enough to change it to the new one, it is black text on a plain white background.

If you’d be willing to help then I’d be enormously grateful!

Kind regards,


Sophie Goodger
Digital Marketing Executive

John August 27, 02016 - 3:45 pm

Hi Sophie. I’d be happy to. Do you have a URL for the latest assets?


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.