The Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, and has been at the forefront of enquiry and discovery since its foundation in 1660.
The backbone of the Society is its Fellowship of the most eminent scientists of the day, elected by peer review for life and entitled to use FRS after their name. There are currently more than 60 Nobel Laureates amongst the Society’s approximately 1400 Fellows and Foreign Members.
Throughout its history, the Society has promoted excellence in science through its Fellowship and Foreign Membership, which has included Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin, Francis Crick, James Watson and Stephen Hawking.
The Society is independent of government, as it has been throughout its existence, by virtue of its Royal Charters. In 1663, The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge was granted its Arms and adopted the motto “Nullius in verba”, an expression of its enduring commitment to empirical evidence as the basis of knowledge about the natural world.
The 350th anniversary of the Royal Society’s founding fell in 2010 and it has provided a unique opportunity to raise the global profile of science, technology and medicine through an ambitious programme of projects and events, throughout the UK, to increase the public’s engagement with science.