The Royal Society

The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London". The Society today acts as a scientific advisor to the British government, receiving a parliamentary grant-in-aid. The Society acts as the UK's Academy of Sciences, and funds research fellowships and scientific start-up companies. The Society is governed by its Council, which is chaired by the Society's President, according to a set of Statutes and Standing Orders. The members of Council and the President are elected from and by its Fellows, the basic members of the Society, who are themselves elected by existing Fellows. There are currently 1,314 Fellows, allowed to use the postnominal title FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society), with 44 new Fellows appointed each year. There are also Royal Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Foreign Fellows, the last of which are allowed to use their postnominal title ForMemRS (Foreign Member of the Royal Society).

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Leonardo da Vinci's take on dynamic soaring

Although Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is known to have studied bird flight, few people realise that he was the first to document flight maneuvers, now called dynamic soaring. Birds use these maneuvers to extract energy from ...

dateOct 10, 2018 in Other
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Bioinspiration—plant-inspired pipettes

The authors of a new article published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, "Plant-inspired pipettes", sought inspiration from the liverwort, a widely spread plant, for the creation of a bioinspired pipette. We asked ...

dateMay 07, 2018 in Engineering
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The convoluted history of the double-helix

It's been 65 years since the paper "Molecular structure of nucleic acids," by James Watson and Francis Crick, was published in Nature. Or, more prosaically, the paper that first describes the structure of DNA as we know it ...

dateApr 26, 2018 in Biotechnology
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How animals follow the stars

The stars have fascinated humankind throughout history, and we have developed ever more sophisticated means of interpreting them and using their positions to guide us (at least in a navigational, rather than an astrological ...

dateJan 24, 2018 in Plants & Animals
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Why do we have large brains?

In recently published article from Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the relationship between brain size and behavioural ecology was found to be highly sensitive to small data changes, and widely championed hypotheses such ...

dateOct 18, 2017 in Evolution
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Transparency in peer review

In 1832, the Royal Society moved from using committee minutes to written peer review reports for determining what was published in Philosophical Transactions. This was conveyed by Frederick Augustus, The Duke of Sussex in ...

dateSep 08, 2017 in Other
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