The Royal has a distinguished past. Thomas Henry Huxley, for instance, gave a series of public lectures there about Darwin’s theory. Their Christmas Lectures, intended for young people, began in 1825 and have featured a number of luminaries extending from Michael Faraday to Richard Dawkins and David Attenborough. Sir David and others who have lectured there wrote a letter to the Times which, though behind a paywall, is reported in the Telegraph:
The signatories of the letter, who have all given lectures at the Royal Institution, said the building had “nurtured some of science’s exciting and beneficial achievements”.
They wrote: “The Royal Institution has been home to some of the most important of Britain’s many contributions to science and engineering: the discovery of ten chemical elements, the first practical demonstrations of electricity, 14 Nobel Prizes and countless inventions.
“Since the start of its pioneering public lecture programme, through which science first entered popular culture, this building has not only nurtured some of science’s exciting and beneficial achievements, it has beamed them out to the world.”
It said that millions of families still watch the annual Christmas Lecture on television, more than 200 years after it was first given.