Our mission and vision

Find out more about the Royal Institution's mission to harness science for the maximum benefit of society.

  • Captivating young audiences for over 200 years.

    Credit: Anna Gordon
  • Hands-on demos as part of the 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURES on BBC Four

    Hands-on demos during the 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURES on BBC Four

    Credit: Paul Wilkinson
  • Hands-on science for all generations at Ri Lates 

    Credit: Katherine Leedale
  • Experiencing life as a scientist in the L'Oreal Young Scientist Centre

  • Ri Masterclasses engage young people up and down the country

    Credit: Tim Mitchell

Why does the Royal Institution exist?

Science shapes our lives, our culture and the world around us.It’s the medical treatment that may save your life. It’s the device in your pocket that connects you to the world. And it’s how we will solve the major global challenges of the future.

Our mission is to harness science for the maximum benefit of society.

The importance of our mission cannot be overstated. It was recognised by the 58 individuals who founded the Ri in 1799 and is just as relevant today. But to achieve the full benefits of what science has to offer, we must ensure that there is a healthy and dynamic interaction between science and society – something we have pioneered for over 200 years.

This is why we believe that people of all ages should be encouraged to think more deeply about the wonders and applications of science.

Engage with us

You can take part in live events with the world’s leading thinkers as well as explore the history of the Ri in greater depth at the Faraday Museum. On the Ri Channel you can catch up on events, as well as watch the best science videos on the web, including the CHRISTMAS LECTURES archive.

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 which were started by Michael Faraday in 1825 and have been broadcast on television since 1936.

Anyone can join the Ri as an Ri Patron or an Ri Member. If you're interested in how the world works, or how to make it work better through science, the Ri is the place for you.

The Royal Institution is a registered charity, no 227938

Year in review 2015

Read about our education and heritage activities over the last year and the long-lasting impact of our work in the 2015 annual review.

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