Skip to content
What's on

Collections by candlelight

History of science


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


Join us for a festive evening celebrating the history of the Royal Society and the remarkable scientific artefacts and stories housed in its extensive, world-class archives.

What Wild Ecstasy, ©Eric Richmond, courtesy of Rambert

This year’s theme, a Victorian Christmas, is inspired by the many extraordinary scientific discoveries made in the Victorian era, and the romance associated with this holiday and with science during the nineteenth century.

You will be treated to a special performance by the globally renowned Rambert contemporary dance company, showcasing acts from their spectacular and critically acclaimed Darwin-themed What Wild Ecstasy performance. Hear the story behind this collaboration of science and art as told by Professor Nicky Clayton FRS (University of Cambridge and Scientist in Residence at Rambert) and Mark Baldwin OBE (former artistic director at Rambert).

The programme will include talks on science in Victorian fairy tales, astronomy in the 19th century, and Michael Faraday’s Christmas candle lecture, as well as festive activities such as printmaking greeting cards and mince pie molecular gastronomy.

You will also have the unique opportunity to explore the beautiful Carlton House Terrace in all its festive glory by candlelight.

Attending the event

  • Over-18s only
  • We are operating a Challenge 25 policy on the door and you may be required to show a valid form of ID to enter the event
  • Free to attend
  • No registration required
  • Doors will open at 18:30 and admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis
  • This event may be popular and entry cannot be guaranteed
  • Travel and accessibility information

The Royal Society’s aim is to make its events accessible to as many people as possible. This is why our events are free and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Collections by candlelight Join us for a spectacular festive late night opening at the UK's national academy of science. The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.