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The Royal Society is governed by a Council of 21 Fellows, who are elected by the Fellowship. The Council manages all the Society’s business and its members are Trustees of the Society under charity legislation. They have the power to make, appeal or amend the Standing Orders (PDF) for the regulation of the Society’s affairs in accordance with its Statutes (PDF).
Sir Paul Nurse FRS became President of the Royal Society in 2010.
The current President is Sir Paul Nurse FRS, whose five year term began in December 2010. The President presides at meetings of the Council and is Chairman of the Trustees.
The President is supported by four other Officers, who are elected members of the Council. The Treasurer is responsible for keeping the accounts and administering the Society’s finances. The Biological Sciences Secretary and the Physical Sciences Secretary are responsible for overseeing the Society’s scientific business. The Foreign Secretary is responsible for overseeing the Society’s international business.
The Council and Officers are supported by a permanent staff of around 140. The Executive Director, Dr Julie Maxton, heads the Society's staff.
The Executive Director of the Royal Society is Dr Julie Maxton.
The Officers and the Executive Director sit on the Society’s Board, which meets before each Council meeting. The Board discusses the Society’s strategy and makes recommendations on papers to be considered by Council.
Following a period of consultation with Fellows, Foreign Members and others the Society is committed to delivering this Strategic Plan for 2012-2017 (PDF).
To comply with charity legislation, the Society produces an annual Trustees’ Report. This includes a financial statement presented in the recommended format. At the end of the year the Society reflects on its activities in the Review of the Year. This includes an update on progress towards the Society’s strategic goals and a summarised financial statement.
The governance of the Royal Society rests with a Council of 21 Fellows.
These regulate the Society's affairs (PDF).
PresidentSir Paul Nurse FRS
TreasurerProfessor Anthony Cheetham FRS
Physical SecretaryProfessor John Pethica FRS
Biological SecretaryDame Jean Thomas DBE FRS
Foreign SecretaryProfessor Martyn Poliakoff CBE FRS
Executive DirectorDr Julie Maxton
Have you found these 'About us' pages helpful?
Learn about our mission to expand the frontiers of knowledge.
There are about 1,450 Fellows and Foreign Members.
The Council and Board manage the Society's activities.
We have had 350 years at the heart of scientific progress.
Annual publications about our finances and activities.
Information about jobs and internships at the Royal Society.