Policy

The Royal Society's Science Policy Centre provides independent, timely and authoritative scientific advice to UK, European and international decision makers.

Sylva The Scotch Fir tree from the 1776 edition of ‘Sylva, Or A Discourse Of Forest-Trees And The Propagation Of Timber In His Majesties dominions’, which was first published in 1664.

We champion the contribution that science and innovation can make to economic prosperity, quality of life and environmental sustainability and we are a hub for debate about science, society and public policy.

  • Projects: We analyse the scientific evidence relating to major policy issues in collaboration with other experts.
  • Reports & publications: We produce reports, statements, consultation responses and other publications on a regular basis.
  • PolicyLab meetings: Our evening events bring together policymakers and scientists to discuss current topics in science policy.
  • 'In Verba' blog: Our blog provides updates about our work and current activities.

The Society’s Fellows and Foreign Members and University Research Fellows provide a unique source of scientific expertise, which informs all of our policy activities. The Science Policy Advisory Group, chaired by Geoffrey Boulton FRS, sets the overall direction of our policy work and Fellows and other experts, including economists and social scientists, participate in working groups for each project. The Council of the Royal Society reviews all of our major policy reports.

The Royal Society has provided scientific advice to policymakers since 1664, when it delivered a report on the state of Britain's forests to King Charles II. Our work is now organised around four themes: diplomacy, governance, innovation and sustainability. Through these we examine major topics such as the changing nature of global science, the implications for society for developments in rapidly developing areas of science and technology, science funding and how science can inform debates about sustainability.

Many of the issues we tackle are global in nature and require international collaboration with other science academies, research and policy organisations and charitable foundations. Our advice is used by bodies such as the European Commission, OECD, World Bank and United Nations as well as governments, businesses and research funders across the world. 

Latest report

Egypt
A case study of Egypt's science and innovation system, which was prepared as part of the Atlas of Islamic-World Science and Innovation project.

See all our reports and publications.