Life Beyond Measure: A Short History of Longevity

Bills of Mortality, 1665 Bills of Mortality, 1665

Wednesday 12 March 2014 – Thursday 26 June 2014
at The Royal Society, London

Exhibition of books and manuscripts from the Royal Society and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

About the Exhibition

As the Black Death spread across England in the 1660s, notices of the dead began to be examined for scientific purposes. The Bills of Mortality that were the beginning of official record-keeping on human death feature in this new exhibition, which delves into four centuries of how scientists struggled to understand not only how long people live but why some live longer than others. Scientists themselves, in their quest for better medical treatment, and engineers, by improving our living conditions, have played a vital role in the extension of life – for some. From Edmond Halley to Howard Florey, this exhibition charts the rise of the actuary and the business of predicting life expectancy.   

Visiting the Exhibition

The exhibition is open on weekdays, 10:00 to 17:00, by appointment with the Library. The exhibition is free and all are welcome to visit.

Events coming up

  • The interaction of fire and mankind 14 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Professor Claire Belcher and Dr Chris Roos
  • The interaction of fire and mankind - further discussion 16 September 2015 at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Dr Claire Belcher and Professor Chris Roos
  • Open House Weekend 2015 19 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London The Royal Society's building will be open to the public on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2015.

For more events please see the events diary.