The President, Council, and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science and is possibly the oldest such society still in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". The Society is the UK and Commonwealth's Academy of Sciences and fulfills a number of roles; promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global cooperation, education and public engagement.
The society is governed by its Council, which is chaired by the Society's President, according to a set of statutes and standing orders. The members of Council and the President are elected from and by its Fellows, the basic members of the society, who are themselves elected by existing Fellows. There are currently about 1,450 fellows, allowed to use the postnominal title FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society), with up to 52 new fellows appointed each year. There are also royal fellows, honorary fellows and foreign members, the last of which are allowed to use the postnominal title ForMemRS (Foreign Member of the Royal Society). The current Royal Society President is Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who took up the post on November 30, 2015.
Since 1967, the society has been based at 6â€“9 Carlton House Terrace, a Grade I listed building in central London.