We are open Tuesdays to Fridays 10am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm. Public tours Wednesdays 1pm-3pm.
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[email protected]
[email protected]

News

A ‘Cornish boy, in tin-mines bred’: the legend of John Opie (1761-1807)

Born in Mithian, St Agnes, Cornwall, John Opie (1761-1807) overcame his humble birth to become a Royal Academician and one of the foremost portraitists and landscape artists of his day. He was introduced to the London art world as a self-taught Rousseauian 'noble savage', raised in a ‘remote and secluded part of the island’, who rose to fame ‘unassisted by partial patronage’. However, little of this was true.

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Samuel Parkes’s Chemical Catechism (1806)

While working as a soap manufacturer in Stoke-on-Trent, Samuel Parkes (1761-1825) became fascinated in chemistry. A Chemical Catechism (1806), originally written for his young daughter, became a best-seller across Europe. His method of teaching stressed the importance of observation – but we don't recommend trying his 'amusing experiments' at home!

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Richard A. Proctor’s study of the moon

Beth Howell, our Saturday Events Coordinator, has been exploring the Institution's science collection for inspiration for astronomical making activities for our youngest members. Richard A. Proctor (1837-1888) was a lawyer turned astronomer who wrote a series of works on the planets. His investigation of the moon is illustrated with incredible photographs by Lewis Morris Rutherfurd (1816-1892) who also ditched law to study the heavens.

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Temporary Closure

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement we will be temporarily closing the Institution on Thursday 5 November for one month. We are planning to open again on Thursday 3 December.

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Directors report to AGM 2020

2019-2020 has been an extraordinary year.  Like many heritage organisations, we had to close our doors in March and adapt quickly to a locked-down world.  At the same time, we also received notification of our successful application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for our exciting new project, The Next Chapter.  Needless to say, there have been ups and downs but we have faced challenges in the spirit of the 19th century scientists who founded the Institution in 1813, adapting and innovating our programme and services so that we have continued to flourish and connect with our members and supporters.

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