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About the Royal Society


Young people attend a science exhibition


Diversity is an essential tenet of modern society. Anyone who has or is considering a career in science should be encouraged, supported, welcomed and have an equal chance to excel. Our work on diversity in science includes addressing barriers to participation and success and actions to support and inspire change.


Being educated in science and mathematics enables people to make informed choices about their life and work, empowers them to shape scientific and technological developments, and equips them to prosper in today’s rapidly-changing, knowledge-focused economies. Our work on education and skills includes an analysis of how the UK’s education systems should change and work with teachers to support innovative science in schools.


The Royal Society provides a range of grant schemes to support the UK scientific community and foster collaboration between UK based and overseas scientists.  Through its Research Fellowships and funding programmes, the Society works in partnership with universities and industry to support excellent scientists.

History of science

The Society has one of the most important scientific heritage collections in the world. It uses its collections to support academic research in the history of science and to engage the public with science by sharing stories of past Fellows who include some of the most famous scientists in history.

Industry and translation

Translating ideas and skills from the research base to industry, business and the wider community is crucial to future prosperity. The Society’s work on industry and innovation promotes the value and importance of science by connecting academia, industry and government.


Science is a global endeavour which bridges national boundaries and requires international discussion and collaboration. The Royal Society has a long history of working internationally and we continue to run programmes to develop partnerships between UK researchers and scientists based overseas, as well as bring together policy makers and scientists from around the world.


The Society published the first ever scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions in 1665. It pioneered the concepts of scientific priority and peer review which, together with archiving and dissemination, provide the model for almost 30,000 scientific journals today. Today the Society publishes a range of scientific journals covering the breadth of scientific disciplines including its most recent publication, Royal Society Open Science.


Our programme of policy advice provides independent, timely and authoritative scientific advice to UK, European and international decision makers. We work on a range of topics and regularly publish reports, statements and consultation responses.

Public engagement

We run an exciting programme for members of the public to engage with cutting-edge science and meet outstanding scientists. Our public events programme and Summer Science Exhibition give people a chance to learn about major discoveries and discuss the implications for our world.

We also run the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize which celebrates the best in popular science writing and the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize which celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people.

Science and the law

Our science and the law programme brings together scientists and members of the judiciary to discuss and debate key areas of common interest and to ensure the best scientific guidance is available to the courts. In partnership with the Judicial College, we are hosting a series of seminars for senior judges on scientific topics relevant to court proceedings. 

We are also working with the Royal Society of Edinburgh and senior members of the judiciary on a series of guides or ‘primers’ on scientific topics, designed to assist the judiciary and legal teams when handling scientific evidence in the courtroom.

Scientific meetings and awards

Our scientific meetings bring together scientists from around the world to present and discuss new research. We host about 30 international, two-day conferences each year.

The Society’s medals, awards and prize lectures recognise excellence in science and technology. Our most prestigious award, the Copley Medal, was first awarded in 1731.

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