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- group '311'


Presidents of the Royal Society


The Royal Society was established in 1660 by a group including Sir Christopher Wren, as 'a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning'. It gained approval from Charles II and acquired a Royal Charter in 1662. The President is elected by the society's council, presides over meetings and is chairman of the Trustees. Initially there was no limit on the time a president could serve. Since 1870, it has been tradition for the President to serve for a 5 year period. In a backlash against the election of wealthy amateurs to position of President, the decision was made in 1847 to elect the President based solely on their scientific credentials.

Edgar Douglas Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian

Edgar Douglas Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian

1889-1977
Physiologist and chancellor of Cambridge University
Sitter in 20 portraits
Sir George Biddell Airy

Sir George Biddell Airy

1801-1892
Astronomer Royal
Sitter associated with 24 portraits
Sir Michael Francis Atiyah

Sir Michael Francis Atiyah

1929-2019
Mathematician; Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge
Sitter in 3 portraits
Sir Joseph Banks, Bt

Sir Joseph Banks, Bt

1743-1820
Explorer and botanist
Sitter associated with 35 portraits
Patrick Blackett

Patrick Blackett

1897-1974
Physicist; government and military advisor; recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics
Sitter in 26 portraits
Sir William Henry Bragg

Sir William Henry Bragg

1862-1942
Physicist and crystallographer
Sitter in 11 portraits
Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Bt

Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Bt

1783-1862
Physiologist and surgeon
Sitter in 6 portraits
William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker

William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker

1620-1684
Mathematician; first President of the Royal Society
Sitter in 4 portraits
Sir James Burrow

Sir James Burrow

1701-1782
Editor of law reports
Sitter in 2 portraits
John Vaughan, 3rd Earl of Carbery

John Vaughan, 3rd Earl of Carbery

1639-1713
Governor of Jamaica and courtier
Sitter in 7 portraits
Sir William Crookes

Sir William Crookes

1832-1919
Chemist and science journalist
Sitter in 8 portraits
Sir Henry Hallett Dale

Sir Henry Hallett Dale

1875-1968
Physiologist and pharmacologist
Sitter associated with 27 portraits
Sir Humphry Davy, Bt

Sir Humphry Davy, Bt

1778-1829
Natural philosopher
Sitter in 20 portraits
Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey

Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey

1898-1968
Experimental pathologist and bacteriologist
Sitter in 6 portraits
Martin Folkes

Martin Folkes

1690-1754
Antiquary
Sitter in 20 portraits | Artist associated with 1 portrait
Sir Archibald Geikie

Sir Archibald Geikie

1835-1924
Geologist and historian
Sitter in 5 portraits
Davies Gilbert

Davies Gilbert

1767-1839
Scientist and antiquary; President of the Royal Society
Sitter in 9 portraits
Sir Cyril Norman Hinshelwood

Sir Cyril Norman Hinshelwood

1897-1967
Physical chemist and biochemist
Sitter in 5 portraits
Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin

Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin

1914-1998
Physiologist
Sitter in 9 portraits