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The role of black people in the history of the Royal Society and in the development of science is complicated and sometimes difficult. This online exhibition highlights the leading role that Fellows of the Society took in opposing slavery, as well as the participation of black scientists in the development of fields as diverse as zoology, mathematics and disease prevention, even if they did not get the recognition they deserved.
Click on one of the pictures below to read more about this history and to read the perspectives of some of the black scientists that the Society works with today.
The Society undertakes a range of activities to promote equality and diversity in UK science, including a new programme of work to increase diversity in the scientific workforce.
We also support capacity building in Africa through a number of schemes including the Royal Society Pfizer Award, the Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Award and the new Royal Society-DFID Africa Capacity Building Initiative.