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Collections by candlelight

History of science

Location

The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG

Overview

Join our festive late night opening and discover the incredible history of the UK’s academy of science. 

Discuss the electrifying Michael Faraday, try your hand at still drawing and screen-printing of images from our archives and enjoy the treats on offer in our festive food hall. The evening will take visitors into the past and give an exclusive opportunity to explore Carlton House Terrace after hours.

Download the event programme

Come and explore the Royal Society after hours.

Attending this event

  • Free to attend
  • No registration required
  • Doors open at 6.30pm
  • Travel and accessibility information can be found on our website
  • Drinks will be available for purchase at our pop up bar
  • Visitors will be required to show a valid form of ID before purchasing alcoholic beverages

For all enquiries, please contact events@royalsociety.org.


Event programme



Hidden treasures 6.30pm – 9.30pm

Get your artistic juices flowing and explore some of the amazing artefacts from our archives in this still life drawing workshop. 




Printmaking through the ages 6.30pm – 9.30pm

Create your own screen print of images from the Royal Society’s collections including Micrographia, Kunstformen der Natur and De Historia Piscium (The History of Fish). Containing some of the most unusual and striking illustrations from scientific literature, expect this workshop to be hands-on, beautiful and inky.




Who ate all the pies? 6.30pm – 10pm 

Dabble with gastronomy in this festive food hall and try our take on the classic mince pie. Tantalise your taste buds with the sweet, savoury or ‘twist of science’ varieties on offer and wash them down afterwards with a special festive cocktail.




Forgotten books 7pm, 8pm, 9pm

Discover some of the fascinating scientific literature from history that you would never have heard about.

The Royal Society’s prize for science books has been celebrating outstanding popular science writing for 30 years, but that leaves over four thousand years of unrewarded science books. 

From the obvious to the obscure, the influential to the dead ends, we combine history and comedy as our performers select their favourite ‘forgotten’ science books. 

For more information about the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize, visit royalsociety.org/sciencebookprize




Tales of science past 7pm – 9.30pm

Which scientist saved the Christmas carol? Do ghosts linger around the halls of the Royal Society?

Uncover the untold secrets of some of the science greats with this drop-in story-corner, run by our expert library team. Stories run every half an hour. 




The genius and legacy of Michael Faraday 7.30pm – 8.30pm

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of his death, pioneering chemist Sir John Meurig Thomas FRS takes us back to the 19th Century to explore one of the most influential scientists in history. 

Faraday, more then any other individual created the modern world of communication. Discover his lasting legacy including his pioneering work on electricity and magnetism and discuss how his passion for communicating helped increase public interest in the sciences and define scientific engagement for decades to come.




Collections by candlelight The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK