The Ri today

Today, The Royal Institution is an independent charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science, offering an exceptionally elegant and versatile events venue. With eight flexible spaces to hire we can host a whole spectrum of events including conferences, presentations, board meetings, receptions and dinners.

You can attend our year-round lectures with the world’s leading thinkers as well as explore our unique museum, showcasing our history through a remarkable collection of artefacts. Young people can actively experiment in a research laboratory as well as meet leading scientists in demonstration-packed live events. Aspiring mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists can also take part in extended hands-on Ri Masterclasses with specially trained experts at over 140 locations around the country. 

We are probably most famous for our CHRISTMAS LECTURES, started by Michael Faraday in 1825 and held annually ever since in our spectacular lecture theatre and broadcast by BBC television since 1936. 

All profits from hiring our building are put back into the Royal Institution’s charitable work.

Credit: Royal Institution

Credit: Royal Institution

A little bit of history

Faraday's original basement laboratory in the Royal Institution - credit Paul Wilkinson.jpg

The Royal Institution has always been dedicated to science, research and innovation. Founded and located at 21 Albemarle Street since 1799, over the last 200 years, its discoveries have changed and shaped the modern world.  

Here Michael Faraday invented the electric motor, Humphry Davy developed the miners’ safety lamp and James Dewar pioneered the Dewar flask which in today’s society we use to keep our drinks hot.  

It was here that scientist John Tyndall answered the question: 'Why is the sky blue?', making the Ri the actual home of blue-sky thinking.

Experiments at the Ri are even said to have inspired Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein.