The Royal Society

“The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge” was founded on this day 28th November, 1660, and was signed into being by Royal Charter under King Charles II.

Isaac Newton’s reflecting telescope, circa. 1671. Photo: The Royal Society.




Twelve important men of the day, including Christopher Wren, John Evelyn, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, Sir Robert Moray, and William, Viscount Brouncker, met at Gresham College and formed the Society. The first Curator of Experiments was Robert Hooke – an extremely intelligent polymath.

Pair of dividers which belonged to Sir Christopher Wren, circa 1697. Photo: The Royal Society.

According to the official website, “The Royal Society is a Fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.” Indeed, this prestigious society counted some of the finest minds of the 17th Century amongst its members – including the great Sir Isaac Newton. Even American genius Benjamin Franklin became a Fellow of the Society in the mid- 18th Century.

Learn more about the Royal Society here.

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