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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http://royalsociety.org

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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 ...

Designer human tissue—coming to a lab near you

The latest issue of Philosophical Transactions B looks at the opportunities for the use of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), both from embryos and from the reprogramming of adult cells, as a scalable alternative to using ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Humans as a model for understanding biological fundamentals

Although some scientific disciplines aim at gaining a better understanding of humans, most biologists ultimately try to understand life in general. This raises the question of whether and when humans are acceptable, or even ...

An investigation of the Rose window instability

Royal Society Open Science recently published "The Electric Honeycomb; an investigation of the Rose window instability" with a single author, Muhammad Shaeer Niazi. Nothing unusual in that, you might think, but Muhammad is ...

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 ...

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 ...

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