Science is an ongoing process and today's scientists build on the knowledge and research of scientists working years, decades and centuries ago. The Royal Society archives contain a record of thousands of pictures, reports and objects from scientists across the centuries.

The Royal Society website and its associated sites have a wide range of information that could form the basis for a research project for students, particularly if it is connected to the history of science and the development of scientific ideas over time.

See the students' section for instructions about the different sources of information and how to search effectively for pictures, scientific articles and biographical information about scientists.

Science detectives

search_150The Royal Society has a lot of information that can help you find your own science story, including pictures, details about past and present scientists connected with the Society, and scientific papers.

Here are some key places to start your search:

The Picture Library - use the help notes for information about how to search for images.
Catalogue search - you can search for information about past fellows and the reports/publications they have produced.
Scientific journalsBiology Letters is a good source of short scientific research papers.
Biographical memoirs - this has information about scientists who were alive in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Current Fellows of the Royal Society

For  example, maybe you would like to find out more about the discovery of cells...

hooke_cells_300Robert Hooke was the first person who discovered that living things are made up of cells - the image on the right shows his drawing of cork cells, as seen under a microscope.

You can find out some information about Hooke by searching under past fellows in the catalogue.

You can find some pictures and drawings of cells in the picture library which might tell you which other scientists who have done research into the way that cells are structured and function.

What is the latest research on cells? Have a look in a current scientific journal - Biology Letters - and search for articles that have the word 'cell' in the title. They are likely to be quite complicated scientific topics but you can find out the range of areas related to cell biology which are currently being studied.



Hooke R, IM 005802This is another illustration drawn in 1665 by Robert Hooke, which shows blue mould growing on leather, as seen using a microscope. Find out more about this image on the picture library site here.