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

For more events please see the events diary.