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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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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Can spiders really count?

A recent issue of Interface Focus examined the idea of convergent minds, which pertains to how distantly related species can think about problem solving in very similar ways. The special issue is a multi-disciplinary investigation ...

dateJul 07, 2017 in Plants & Animals
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3-D printing spiders

Spiders build webs, shelters and egg sacs from fine tough silk fibers. To apply these fibers, they must be properly attached to substrates or other threads and must cope with loading in highly-variable directions.

dateApr 13, 2017 in Plants & Animals
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How strong is an egg?

Why does holding an egg between two hands and pressing along its long axis make it almost impossible to break? Professor Marc Andre Meyers was first puzzled by this as a child growing up in Brazil. He subsequently proposed ...

dateJan 26, 2017 in Plants & Animals
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Video: Tracking data and shark behaviour

Animals often share space as they move through their environment. Capturing these aggregations and co-occurrence events has proven extremely difficult in elusive, wide-ranging animals.

dateJan 13, 2017 in Ecology
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