6 thoughts on “Do we really need the Royal Institution?

  1. I’d disagree. Historical buildings ARE important, if only because they can’t be replaced.

    As I understand it (and I agree that I haven’t been following the case), the RI is in financial trouble because of some choices that the (departing, I hope) management committee made. One would hope that those mistakes can be rectified on a reasonable time scale.

    But to sell up “Faraday’s lab” for a handful of sheckels … it would be like selling Down House for building of an immigration detention centre (that’s a calculated insult on Darwin’s loathing of slavery and implicit understanding of the common heritage of all humans ; arguably one of the first people who could base such opinions on a scientific understanding) ; or like paving over “Hutton’s Unconformity” to lay a sewage pipe (errrr, right ; never going to happpen??).

    If the financial crisis is really severe, then a bridging loan from some science-based organisation (a pharmaceutical company, or an energy compenay, perhaps) would garner a LOT of good PR. And I’m sure this strategy is being pursued vigorously.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the comment. I also agree that historic buildings and collections are important and spent my entire masters degree in heritage science understanding the value of cultural heritage. My point here is that the Ri don’t need to be in the building to carry on doing good work, and hopefully better work with a new vision for their future.

      I would be against any ideas to demolish the building, but believe that the government providing £60m in this time of austerity towards the Ri who have already shown that the previous £22m put into the building did not prove successful, is not a good idea. I think this money could be better spent in education, healthcare or research. This also gives the Ri the opportunity to re-evaluate their role in the science communication world, and improve what they already do.

      It would of course be great if a private company or somewhere that has £60m to spend takes this building over, and lets it still be open to the public so that it can be actively remembered and accessed.

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  3. I agree… We don’t need another building that houses ideas for great science communication. As you point out, these ideas can be spoken, and received, anywhere. You’d just need someone to communicate those ideas with a 21st century sensibility using social media as a megaphone.

    As a possible direction, I like what I see coming out of colleges/universities in the way of free online classes. Take for instance what MIT and Harvard created (https://www.edx.org/) It may be good to see these classes infused with a little TedX to spice up the subject matter.

  4. Pingback: Do we really need the Royal Institution? | Science Communication Blog Network

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