The Royal Society, St James's, London, 2006.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
'The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge' was founded in November 1660 after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the Gresham Professor of Astronomy. A group of leading scientists of the day, (or 'natural philosophers' as they were known), decided to found 'a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning'. The group included Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, Sir Robert Moray, and William, Viscount Brouncker. Today it is 'the leading independent scientific body of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth'. The Royal Society is based at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, built in 1827-1832 to designs by John Nash.