Science charity increases outreach activities and reports surplus for third year in a row
At its AGM last night, Trustees of The Royal Institution (Ri) reported that the science engagement charity increased its outreach activities by as much as 30% in some areas in 2018, and posted a £0.1m surplus on unrestricted funds in the 2017/18 financial year. It is the third year in succession that the Ri has posted a surplus on unrestricted funds, maintaining its financial stability.
Throughout 2018, the Ri’s professional science presenters performed over 30% more Science in Schools shows than in 2017; while 164 series of its national network of Masterclasses, for over 6000 students, represented an increase of more than 25%. In addition, more people attended a public talk at the Ri, with 99 events for adults representing a 10% increase on the previous year, and the most since the Ri closed for refurbishment a decade ago.
The Ri’s YouTube channel continued to grow with 150,000 new subscribers joining in 2018 versus 101,000 in 2017, an increase of nearly 50%, with the total number of subscribers reaching half a million earlier this year. The Ri’s YouTube videos have now been viewed more than 50 million times, with subscribers watching an average of 10 videos each, representing an important repeat engagement with science.
Viewing figures for the annual series of CHRISTMAS LECTURES broadcast on BBC Four increased by around 60%, while the Ri took the Lectures on tour to Hong Kong for the first time, in addition to Japan and Singapore.
The Ri’s total income grew by £0.1m with a corresponding increase in expenditure on its outreach activities, while cash reserves grew from £1.07m in 2017 to £1.14m in 2018.
Shaun Fitzgerald, Director of the Royal Institution, said: “I am pleased to report on another year of success and growth for the Ri. We have inspired even more people of all ages and backgrounds to discover, discuss and critically examine science.
“We have continued to seek a depth of engagement, recognising that repeat opportunities to interact with science are more effective than one-off events however inspirational.
“It is from this strong position that we have launched our ambitious strategy for growth and impact which will see us double in size in terms of staff and expenditure on charitable activities over the coming five years.
“I look forward to increasing our impact in public engagement with science in the year ahead.
Also during 2018, the Ri performed the headline show at the Big Bang Fair, the centrepiece event of British Science Week, added 13 new workshops to its Summer Schools programme and welcomed more than 3000 people to its three Family fun day. The L’Oreal Young Scientist Centre continued to operate at full capacity and over 70,000 people visited the Ri’s free museum and archive.
The 2018 Year in Review is available to download from the Ri website.