Supporting messages

All future messages should be posted as comments at the base of the home page.

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We are overwhelmed by the amount of email received, much with thoughtful advice. I am struggling to go through all the mail sent since Sunday and will respond to as much as I can. We are also overwhelmed by the degree of real affection and appreciation for the Ri that is being expressed as well as the offers of help.  An Ri Action Group (RiAG) has now been set up to formulate a strategy to do everything possible to save the building and, in particular, outline a credible strategy which will gain the financial support necessary.  Many of you have sent extremely valuable advice and this will definitely be very useful for the forward look. 

Details of progress will be posted on this website.

Harry

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I was shocked when my daughter Edith told me of the plan to sell the RI building.

As a science graduate myself, I have watched and enjoyed the RI Christmas lectures as long as I can remember – I am in my 50s – and my (now adult) children have also watched the lectures each year.  Edith in particular found them inspiring; she has just been award her PhD in Physics at TUDelft and I hope she won’t be embarrassed if I say it is one of her ambitions to give the lectures one day.

The RI building itself with its amazing history is a national treasure.  How many other places can say they have been both a centre for research and for education for nearly 200 years?   It cannot be allowed to close.

I wish you every success in your campaign.

Rosemary

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Good afternoon Garry

I entirely agree; over the past 6-7 years I have become increasingly disillusioned with the management (or lack thereof) of the Royal Institution of Great Britain and the air of ignoring the commercial ‘writing on the wall’.

I think that every University should invest in the RI to give a vehicle to improve science communication by students (of all persuasions, be it scientists, engineering, social science or arts students) and a better route to the public understanding of science; 125+ Universities each giving £75k per year would not only clear the debt but provide a war chest to fund 1000 studentships per year for a week of science communication education.

I also believe that all the professional institutions (IET, IOP, RAE, RS, IMechE, ICE……) should similarly invest and offer CPD in science communication and mentoring through the RI.

I also believe that the research works currently funded and performed by and at the RI should be linked better with the Research Councils to give some element of public funding through Government.

The UK can only grow through innovation, predominantly by science and technology development; all Governments believe this and fund innovation heavily – to the tune of more than £400 per year through the TSB alone to fund competitions. Perhaps the Government can persuade the TSB to channel some of their vast funding through the RI for more publicly-accessible competitions to drive innovation?

All good wishes

John

I am suggesting two approaches.

1. The Ri as a stand alone business; this requires a good business case and an indication for the investors of the return they can get in addition from feeling good at saving the nation. This will also meet removing a lot/most

of the do good academics who couldn’t run a jumble sale and replace them with hard business oriented people who are sympathetic to science.

2. Ri embeded in a consortia of academic institutions such as Imperial+ UCL+LSA+ Kings. A similar management approach would be required but this would take care of the excellent research work too.

Well that’s my thoughts for the morning.

Best wishes and see you on Thursday. The huskies are ready!

Garry

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Sir Harry,

Please add my name to the list of campaigners to Save the Royal Institution.  It is perhaps one of the most influential scientific institutions in the country and deserves to be saved; while the Royal Society and professional bodies such as the RSC are influential within their own fields and in academia, the Royal Institution exists for all.

No questions were asked when two Titian masterpieces were “under threat” – it seems that price was of no concern and these were “saved for the nation” for a sum of close to £100m for the pair.  I do not question their importance, however I am confident that the impact of these two paintings is nothing compared to the day-to-day impact of the RI. Young, old, scientist, otherwise, the RI creates a legacy with every generation, and must be saved.

Granted there must be some organisational changes; it is a disgrace that the current situation has been allowed to happen, however it is my belief that investment in the RI is an investment in the future of science.

Thank you for your efforts so far in stepping up to this challenge; it is wonderful that the scientific community has rallied around this issue, and it is my sincere hope that the institution can be saved.

Yours,

Andrew

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Sir Harry,

I appreciate that you will be very busy, but if you can spare the time I would be very grateful if you would grant a 10-minute telephone or Skype interview on your RI campaign, for the Pod Delusion podcast.

This is a weekly podcast about “interesting things” from a science and skeptical point of view, so this cause would be just right for our (approximately 10,000) listeners. We also go out on Resonance FM in the London area, and have in the past interviewed Richard Dawkins, Ian Stewart, Sir Paul Nurse, Hugh Grant, Simon Pinker, and others.

Please reply if you are interested, and we can arrange a time and method convenient for you, and give you some advance notice of the questions.

Yours,

Sean

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Dear Sir Harry

I am pleased that a campaign has been started to save the RI. The following is a copy of an email I sent to Professor Martyn Poliakoff last Sunday, and his colleague Samantha Tang has suggested that I send this copy to you. My name will not be known to many (my main claim to fame was that, many years ago, I was secretary of the working party for the founding of the British Crystallographic Association) but if you wish to publish comments with my name, you are welcome to do so.  Could joining the campaign be made easier by having a petition form to sign available on the internet?

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“I am saddened and alarmed to see in today’s Guardian that there is a possibility of the RI selling its historic building. Though I have never had any official connection with the building, I have been to several conferences there and, when I acted as secretary of the group organising a symposium to mark Bragg’s 80th birthday, I used to meet the chairman, W H Taylor, there. Just being present in that building, and especially in the imposing lecture theatre, one has a sense of being in the presence of Faraday.  It is certainly, as you say, an important part of our scientific heritage and it would be a tragedy if it were lost to science. I am writing to you because you are likely to hear of any petition or fund-raising that might be started, to which I would be glad to contribute. If you do hear of anything, do please let me know.”

Kind regards

Stephen

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Dear Prof. Kroto,

I would like to add my voice to those protesting at the idea of putting the Royal Institution premises up for sail.

If one were to suggest selling Canterbury Cathedral, or Durham Cathedral, or Westminster Palace, or the Botanic Gardens at Kew, the nation would be appalled.  The fabric of the RI occupies a similar position within Science as these locations do to Architecture, The Church of England, Government, and Agriculture/Botany. They are all World Heritage sites, so I would go further and suggest that not only should the RI not be sold, it should also take it’s place alongside other World Heritage site.  I would also put forward a second reason for maintaining the RI as an accessible building, and that is pilgrimage.  Although I very much doubt that scientists and students who visit the RI think of it as a pilgrimage, that is probably what it is.   The RI provides the real, tangible link between us, “now”, and the history of science, which was “then” and is intangible.   Come to think of it, that would make quite an interesting thesis.

If I can be help in this campaign to stop the sale, please contact me.

very best wishes

Rob

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Dear Harry:

I’m not on facebook so I have to e-mail. I most enthusiastically support your campaign to save the RI. As a London schoolboy, it was my frequent visits to the RI that cemented my interest in science, and I’ve no doubt many many others as well – not just the lectures but the entire ambience of the building itself and its unique associations with the history of science. It seems inconceivable to me that the building might be sold for commercial purposes (even if in part) for what (by the standards of Government, University and Science expenditure) is a debt of peanuts. You can use any or all of this text as you wish.

PS. We met, and had lunch, at RS induction in 1990 but sadly for me haven’t done so since.

With best regards,

David

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This is a shock to hear. How can it be possible such an  institution is under threat of closure.

Have you considered letting 38 degrees know about this, they  have the procedures in hand to petition thousand of people?

I have sent the email to everyone in my address book.

Good  luck.

June

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Very well said! As a young, aspiring chemist and science communicator (in Scotland), I can say that the loss of this iconic building would be a travesty that would affect the whole of the UK (at least!). I’m so glad to see top-flight scientists doing something about this.

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Dear Professor Sir Harry Kroto,

We have both been long and active supporters of the Royal Institution.   We both served on various committees and on  Council, and both served as Vice Presidents.   For some years we jointly organised the Ri Discussion Evenings (RIDE) and in 2002 we were delighted to be made Honorary Fellows of the Ri.   D.P. gave many schools lectures, two Friday Discourses and the six 1985 Christmas Lectures.

Over the past decade we have become increasingly apprehensive at developments – and not only financial ones.     Now we are absolutely appalled by the recent news and rumours.     We wish you well in your effort to avoid the unthinkable and we offer whatever support may be within our means.

The heritage is far more than the building, significant though this must be.    The price of failure would be inestimable and the cost of rescue would, in many  other fields, be considered trivial.

Yours,

Ade and David

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Dear Prof. Kroto:

This is to give my strong support to your efforts to save the RI. The retention of the iconic building in Mayfair would clearly indicate that Britain sees that science could have a role in the future as important as in the past. It is also worth noting that the RI over its existence has contributed far more value to the UK economy than its current outstanding debt.

Sincerely,

Gabriel

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Dear Dr Kroto,

I looked into the Royal Institution one day last year when I was in that area of London, and was directed down to the basement where I expected to be able to see Faraday’s laboratory, more or less in the sort of state it was, as shown in photographs I have seen.

However I was disappointed to find the whole area, at least the part I saw, had been converted into a glossy and rather arid museum, not at all like a working laboratory.

Like many people I have memories of attending the lecture theatre as a schoolboy.

I was privileged to attend a lecture by Sir Lawrence Bragg that I still remember vividly.

I would like in my small way to support your efforts to preserve the RI’s heritage, and just hope that it has not been left too late, and that changes already made are not irreversible.

Yours Sincerely

George

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Dear Harry

I most strongly and emphatically agree that the RI building and role on its present site must be preserved at all costs.  To allow anything else to happen would be an act of visigothic vandalism perpetrated against the peerless scientific history and contribution of the UK.  The contributions of scientific innovation and discovery emanating from the RI in its existing building underpin the technological universe in which the human race now exists.  The physical environment in which these epic achievements took place is a priceless memorial, particularly in the present era which is richly populated by world heritage sites and other internationally promulgated recognition of the planet’s cultural heritage.

Yours sincerely

Mark

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Dear Professor Kroto,

I write to support your campaign to save the RI.  Since its establishment the RI has proved itself a fantastic asset to both Britain and the rest of the world in both its research and development output and its work in science education.

One could argue that this work could carry on elsewhere but, for me, its current location is part and parcel of the essence of the RI. Surely there are enlightened benefactors who would be willing to reduce or eliminate the RI debt. Alternatively, I suggest that the building be bought by the government and leased back to the RI.

I am convinced there must be a way to save the RI as a going concern.

Regards –

Stan

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Dear Professor Kroto

I wish to join you in trying to save the Royal Institution!

Best regards

Maria

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Dear Harry

The RI generates a whole clutch of different and conflicting responses(!) but to sell the building is complete folly.

Please put me of on the list of those who want it saved for us all.

With best wishes

Jonathan

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I am not a scientist but I am devastated by the thought that the Royal Institution could be sold. It is a wonderful building of great historic and cultural value for so much ground-breaking science has been demonstrated there.

I searched online for a petition to sign but your website was the only one I found which seemed to offer anything. We must fight to keep the building.

J.M.

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Dear Sir Harry

I have just heard of the plans to sell the Royal Institution building. I write to support your efforts to try to save it from this fate.

Best wishes

Claudio

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I am stunned that the building of the Royal Institution in 21 Albemarle Street, a landmark in the history of science, has been put up for sale. I sincerely hope that this unique heritage can be rescued for the nation, and for the world. Science heroes need places and spaces that everyone can visit even more than books and lectures.

Uta

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Harry:

You have my strong support in your campaign to save the RI. At a time when science communication in Britain is booming and is needed more than ever, to sink its flagship is insane.

All the best

Steve

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Dear Harry

You have my utmost support in your campaign to save the RI

best wishes

Ray

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Harry,

It is not tenable that the Royal Institution should cease to function. It has been the cornerstone of British Science for centuries and in an ever changing world where mediocrity and short term political gain has become the norm, it stands for values which ensure that science in the UK at least can remain world class.

Mike

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I am with you. I don’t see how the trustees can consider selling the building without us members go ahead which would never happen.

Regards

Colin

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Dear Sir Harry,

I’m a science enthusiast and journalist who studied at Imperial College and the Natural History Museum, but I now live in Sydney where I am the editor of Australian Geographic magazine. I attended Royal Institution Christmas lectures in my youth and have often written about the RI.

I write to express my sadness over the news that the due to mismanagement and the ongoing economic crisis, the RI may have to sell off its historic premises in central London. The work done by Michael Faraday and Humphrey Davy (also Thomas Henry Huxley and others) underpinned much of what we enjoy in modern society, and the RI is part of the scientific heritage of the world, not just of the UK.

If the UK government can spend £124 billion bailing out the banks, it can surely afford to spend a tiny fraction of that to help preserve this venerable intuition for future generations.

Save the Royal Institution!

Good luck.

John

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Dear Sir Harry

I am shocked that that RI might be sold off. I have been a Member (and more recently a Fellow) for over 20 years.

The historical aspects of the RI are well known and I need not repeat them here. When I worked in Government, I would take visitors from abroad on a tour, explaining how the discovery of electron was announced in the lecture theatre and posing for photographs by the statue of Faraday. I am now retired and act as an independent science consultant. How can I explain to my visitors that the RI is to be sold, when there are Government statements that state that science is the key to our future?

Professor Lisa Jardine summarises the position well in a recent press article: “We’re going to lose the [scientific] equivalent of Shakespeare’s Globe.”

Gari

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I am not a scientist but I am devastated by the thought that the Royal Institution could be sold. It is a wonderful building of great historic and cultural value for so much ground-breaking science has been demonstrated there.

I searched online for a petition to sign but your website was the only one I found which seemed to offer anything. We must fight to keep the building.

J.M.

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Dear Sir Harry,

I am just writing to you to offer my support to the campaign to save the RI and it’s home in Albemarle Street.  Not only does the venue have a fantastic history of research and science communication which deserve to be celebrated and preserved for the nation, but the building itself and the important work that its staff do serve to inspire young scientists of the future.  I certainly feel that the RI has influenced my career strongly.  From watching the christmas lectures on tv, to deciding to study chemistry in London, to taking optional courses in the history of science right to my current position as a science communicator, the RI and the building it is housed in have influenced and inspired me.  I hope that it can continue to do so for future generations.

Kind Regards,

Rosie

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Dear Harry,

I strongly support your attempt to preserve the wonderful buildings of the RI, and would be pleased to sign any petition that you may draw up.

With best regards,

yours sincerely,

John

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In response to your statement and request at http://savetheri.wordpress.com/

The Ri has spearheaded scientific discovery and outreach and inspired generations of researchers to take up careers in science.  The Ri has suffered serial mismanagement over the past couple of decades seeing the end of its role as a world leading centre for scientific research and now the possible sale of the building.  This loss would be a major tragedy in the scientific heritage of this country.

Regards

Paul

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Please accept my support the Goverment should ensure this great historical building is kept in public hands for the future of Scientific study in

Britain.

Regards

John

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I wanted to say that in the past I have really enjoyed the time I have spent at the RI with students and think it plays a huge role in the furtherance of the public opinion of science. It is a horrible shame to let the building go and everything possible should be done to ensure it’s continuance.

Olivia

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I have taken children to lectures there and I am appalled by this. We need to help!

Andrew

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Dear Head of Science,

You may be aware of news reports in recent days of a crisis affecting the future of the Royal Institution in London:

http://savetheri.wordpress.com/

If you or any of your colleagues have taken pupils on visits to the RI, attended lectures there in the past, or enjoyed

the annual Christmas Lectures on TV, you will appreciate the role it has played since Faraday’s time  in communicating science to the young and the general public.  The iconic building in Mayfair still houses Faraday’s original laboratory and artefacts, as well as archive material from other Directors, such as George Porter, Lawrence Bragg,  Humphrey Davy,  James Dewar and John Tyndall.

Those of us who know the RI well and value it greatly as significant part of this country’s, even the world’s, scien! tific heritage are devastated by the threat to its existence which its financial problems have now precipitated.

Nobel Laureate, Sir Harry Kroto, has now launched an internet petition to gather support for action to save the RI. If you or any of your colleagues would like to write to Sir Harry in support of this campaign, please use the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21069749

Please also pass this email on to any others, such as retired colleagues, who may be interested.

With many thanks,

Brian

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I agree completely, something with such historical scientific importance has to be saved. Regards

Adrian

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My daughters both went to RI lectures (not the Christmas lectures) with their primary schools. One is now doing a master’s in chemistry…

Alan

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Hello

Kenneth Richard is advising people who are concerned about the recent announcement concerning the RI to contact you hence this email. Please keep me up to date, if possible, with developments here.

Regards,

Doug

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Dear All,

Like many of you I am horrified at the idea that we are about to lose the RI or at least a big chunk of it. I have a suggestion – half-baked and ill thought out -  that might perhaps provide a way to save the place and secure its future provided we can get some serious backing. I don’t know whether the idea can possibly add up financially, but I am stunned that it is possible to galvanize public opinion to “save for the nation” paintings and sculpture, painted abroad and owned by aristocrats who need the cash, and yet we are happy to let the RI go.

The problem the RI is that its position has long been ambiguous. It is half research institution, half centre of public engagement. In trying to resolve this contradiction it lost direction and then its endowment. The tragedy is that just as it starts to regain direction it is blown away by its financial woes.

My suggestion is that it be taken over by the Royal Society as a wholly owned but separately funded subsidiary. The RS is a venerable institution of huge respectability. It is brilliant at the intellectual stuff, but in spite of its best efforts, it hasn’t really gained that much traction in the public engagement arena. It has grand apartments but nothing like the atmospheric and historic building in Albemarle Street.

The RI on the other hand has struggled to keep its research base going while having a fantastic atmospheric site steeped in history. Its Christmas lectures have finally returned to the BBC and its video channel has built up a reputation for hipness that the RS can never dream of. Until quite recently the RI was headed by Fellows of the RS and it provides a direct link with our scientific history that few other places in the UK can match.

To me it s a match made in heaven that would make the RI a real focus of the intellectual life of the country. Having the RS behind it it would cement the geek-chic image that has been growing steadily over the past couple of years. The RI would then be able to focus on what it does best. A new board would comprise both FRS-s, the odd stand up comic, and members with a serious interest in its future. It would take over the RS-s public engagement programme and channel it in exciting new directions. It would also provide the setting for the inauguration of fellows, not simply with better sightlines, but with a really grand connexion to its past history.

Then there’s the question of how one can bridge the money gap. Apart from finding a sugar daddy a proper media campaign involving Kickstarter (not my idea) might be a way to crowdsource money.

Andrea

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Dear Harry,

I understand you are launching a Save the RI campaign. I myself have been a member for over 40 years. I also worked with Richard Catlow and organised the now sadly defunct lecture series for schools in the NW. I, like yourself  am extremely concerned about reports of the sell off of 21 Albemarle St.

If I can assist in any small way (which would probably have to be administrative) please let me know.

Out of interest we have some common background in that  I attended Urmston Grammar School not far form your Bolton School and also started my ungraduate career in Chemistry at Sheffield in 1963 where your room was just down from lecture theatre 3. I think I gave David Phillips a report from Darts outlining your work as President of Sheffield UAU.

Best wishes,

David

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Hello,

I was member of imeche for more than 50 years and C.Eng.  since it was created, I think.

Many members of all engineering institutions would be pleased to make a contribution to a formally set up fund to save the RI.  The institutions may be prepared to request donations from their members

There will be none-engineering-institution persons who would also support a save the RI fund.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Bill

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Dear Professor Kroto,

My 28 year old daughter remarked yesterday (Sunday) about the breadth of achievements made by scientists a century ago and how they were able to spend time on science. She talked to me about the range of Lord Kelvin’s discoveries, this was her “discovery”.  I was fascinated as she studied politics and not shown interest in studying science and less so working in it. I am not sure why she talked to me about Kelvin and others – maybe she had read the possible demise of the RI premise.

To wilfully let the Royal Institution’s home be sold would send a message beyond any financial benefit that sale would bring.  In a time where “impact” is king why not support the RI and therefore a pivotal role of communicating to the layperson.

Best regards

Gareth

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Professor Sir Harry Kroto,

I have just read your blog post about saving the RI and asking for ideas. Have you considered setting up a government e-petition (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/) asking for the government to intervene?

Andrew

I look forward to hearing your suggestions of a strategy :-)

I spoke to someone at the RI earlier today.  In the first instance she said the Ri would welcome visible forms of support, like people joining as members via their website (which puts cash into the Ri as well as showing we care), and also of course by adding their names to the facebook group.

She has promised to be in touch with further ways we can help, which I shall announce on twitter and in the group.

I would love to hear how we can support your plans too.  Working together, I feel sure we can achieve great things :-)

Mary

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Dear Harry

I support any efforts to save the RI. I was lucky enough to visit there on a regular basis in the early to mid 90′s for collaborative research, and have happy memories of my time there. Rather than selling it, it should be re-established as the ultimate centre for Scientific Outreach and Public Science activities.

Best wishes

Rob

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Shame on any government who sits back and lets this happen.

Comments can be published and attributed.

Holly

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Dear Sir Harry,

I read with interest the story in the Times today about your “calls to arms” to save the Royal Institution.

I am a campaigner at Change.org which is a platform that allows anyone, anywhere in the world to start a petition on something they care about. We have the tools that allow people to gather 1000s of signatories on a particular issue. It can be a great way to demonstrate the huge public support for an institution like the RI and a good way to bring together anyone that supports keeping it open. People that start petitions are able to email all the signers to keep them up-to-date with developments for example and ask them to take further action, such as writing to MPs.

In the past we have supported other similar campaigns – including Tony Juniper’s successful campaign to save the British Antarctic Survey here:

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/vince-cable-secretary-of-state-for-business-skills-and-innovation-end-plans-to-do-away-with-the-british-antarctic-survey-bas

We would be more than happy to support you in starting a petition on the site and have tools to promote it to many of our users to build up signatories.

Do contact me on this email or via the number below if this is of interest and I would be happy to explain further.

Best wishes,

Katherine

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Dear Professor Kroto

I used to work as a Post Doc in the DFRL under Richard Catlow, between 1997-2006 (when the refurbishment started), having previously studied for a PhD with Professor Sally Price at UCL. I continued working with Richard  (or one of his team) at UCL until 2008. I think we may have met a couple of times at the Ri, I am in a wheelchair.

Anyway, I am of the view that the refurbishment and it’s funding by selling off some Mayfair property caused the current problem-largely as a result of the then Director’s vision for the Ri to be a ‘salon for science’ (I think the Ri was showing a small profit before the Baroness embarked on her scheme).

As I am still unemployed I am currently working in the Heritage and Collections Department at the Ri on indexing/cataloguing/transcribing the DFRL records.

I am still in contact with Richard and those who generally opposed the way the Ri was going, but as I’m doing volunteering there I do have some contact with the current management-though they don’t tell me anything!

I would be a great shame if the  Ri building (including the DFRL, which is the oldest continuously operating research lab in the world?) was lost and the museum part was not available for the general public.

Please feel free to use my thought’s on an anonymous basis-if they are useful!

Please keep me updated on what’s happening with the Ri.

Many thanks

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Dear Prof Kroto,

I am delighted to see someone of your renown lending their support and leading the charge to save the RI. It is a wonderful place. Over the weekend I wrote a piece on what it would mean to lose the home of the royal institute. If you are interested my article is here:  http://www.jamiebgall.co.uk/blog/4562416184/Potential-sale-of-the-RI/4651998 I’m not much of a writer but over 400 people read the article withing a few hours of me putting it up.

Also Nature Chemistry will be publishing a review of the Christmas lectures (in the March edition I believe) written by myself in which I praise the lectures, the institution and its commitment to the engagement of science.

I look forward to keeping up to date with on going developments and am more than willing to help in any way I can.

Many thanks and best wishes for success,

Jamie

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Dear Harry

I’m writing in support of your campaign to support the Royal Institution and do whatever we can to ensure the preservation of the iconic site at Albermarle street. It is a tragedy that we have let it decline at a time when science communication is so critical. I am certain that you have the full support of all our scientific colleagues both in the UK and across the world and we must use this as an opportunity to not only secure the location but also to lead the world in scientific communication and engagement. We are so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful symbol of achievement in our capital and, whilst I’m sure that scientists like ourselves will continue to work hard to engage with the public and young community, to lose the site of this historic organisation would be a terrible pity. A worrying problem exists that people are assumed to not appreciate and value science. I know this is wrong from my experiences at RSC and Royal Society public engagement events and science fairs and I know that, given the opportunity, children love to explore science and learn from experiments and our quality of life depends on these children becoming future generations of scientists, mathematicians and engineers. To be able to learn about scientific discovery on the site where our greatest scientific heroes made and demonstrated their discoveries is unique and inspirational. We simply cannot justify losing the home of one of the oldest and most successful scientific organisations because of poor management and the embarrassing behaviour of some misguided individuals.

I wish you every success with your campaign. Feel free to use my name and comments to support this and please notify me if there is something more that I can do to ensure the Ri is saved.

Best wishes

Libby

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Dear Professor Kroto

I would like to lend my support in your campaign to save the Royal

Institution and I would be happy to have my name and position included for

this cause.

Kind regards,

Nimesh

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Count me in. I’m speaking there next month (for the first time) that’s

relevant.

all best,

Hugh

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Dear Harry

I am very concerned to hear that the RI is under threat.  In my opinion the RI is a national treasure which we as a nation should be proud to sustain.  I support all representations to preserve the RI and enable it to flourish in the future.

Kind regards

Frank

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Harry, Are you aware of the ‘Save the RI campaign’, run by Mary Perkins, on Facebook?  I picked it up off Google – what else?

Is this a different campaign to yours? Should they be linked/combined? When it comes to Facebook I am out of my depth.

I also see people are donating (only small amounts) to save the RI on the ‘Make a donation’ section on the RI site!

Regards,

Brian

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Dear Professor Kroto,

I wholeheartedly add my support your campaign to preserve the RI at 21 I had the privilege of working at the RI as a post-doctoral research scientist in the late Lord Porter’s world-leading photochemistry group in

the 1960’s. As Director Lord Porter used the RI and its resources to great effect take science to a wider audience. The central position of the RI ! made it a hub which attracted distinguished scientists from around the

world, visiting either to share their expertise, give public lectures on the latest scientific breakthroughs, or immerse themselves in the unique scientific heritage of the famous building.

Working at the RI enabled one to eavesdrop on the other activities for which it had become renowned, such as the Schools’ Lectures, Friday Discourses and the Christmas Lectures in the famous lecture theatre. Being able to observe ‘live’ presentation of world class science first hand proved to be an inspiration to me in my subsequent teaching career at university and school level. Subsequently I have taken many groups of pupils to London over the years introduce them to the magic of the RI.

Some of the most eminent scientists on the world stage have worked at the RI over centuries and examples of their work and laboratory artifacts, in particular Faraday’s original laboratory, are st! ill to be found there.

British scientists continue to lead the world in many fields. I am appalled and saddened at the thought that the country may stand by as the precious scientific heritage and archive the iconic building now holds is dispersed

and RI’s role in inspiring young people to take up science is lost.

Yours sincerely,

Brian

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Dear Sir Harry

Great to see that you’ve set up a campaign to save the Ri – we’re right behind you. Do you have time to do a quick interview that we could run in the next issue? I’d need about 10 mins on the phone ASAP.

Thanks

Graham

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Dear Professor Sir Harry Kroto,

I was dismayed to learn that the premises of the Royal Institution have been put up for sale.

The RI is a unique historical Science Heritage Site for not just the UK but the World.

I sincerely hope that our Government can be persuaded to intervene to preserve this unique and important part of our cultural and scientific heritage.

You may publish my comments under my name.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan

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Dear Prof Kroto,

I am happy to support your campaign to save the Royal Institution.  I have been a member for 40 years and have seen many evolutionary changes in the organisation, from being basically a gentleman’s club that also did research to a much more outward-looking body.  I have not been particularly happy with the way the RI has been run in recent years; of course with the benefit of hindsight we can see that the redevelopment of the building was a mistake, but I did not like the way Susan Greenfield was dumped and it seems to me that there is a certain amount of arrogance in the present management.

I think it is highly unlikely that the Government will come to the aid of the RI: I think its best hope is likely to be through philanthropic donations, and I think that you should concentrate your efforts on persuading potential donors to contribute.  I wish you good luck!

Yours sincerely,

Barry

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Dear Professor Kroto

Please feel free to add my name, position and support  to your efforts to save the RI campaign. The building evokes memories of childhood and through its coverage in the Christmas Lectures, was instrumental in enthusing me with the scientific curiosity which underpins my subsequent career in Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation.

Best regards

Geoff

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Dear Sir Harry

I wholeheartedly support your campaign to save the RI headquarters from being sold. As you have stated in your blog at WordPress, the RI is a unique historical Science Heritage Site, not just for the UK but for the World. With its 200 year history of scientific endeavour encompassing some of the major scientific discoveries made by some of the finest scientists that have walked this earth, the RI is an institution which the UK should be proud to cherish and support. It is also still a major force for scientific good through the research being carried out under its auspices and also through its educative work, especially the Christmas lectures which have done so much to inspire future generations of scientists both at home and abroad. I find it hard to believe that funding cannot

be found, initially at least, through a combination of grants, charitable donations, enterprise and fund-raising initiatives to at least service its debts and keep it running in its present, historic headquarters until a more business-like way is found of supporting it on a long term basis. In my view, the RI should immediately seek help from reputable management consultants and fund-raisers to seek a solution to its present financial problems short of selling off its buildings.

Yours sincerely

John

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Dear Harry

I have no position to add weight to my protest (I am a retired industrial research scientist) but I was horrified when I learned from Brian Orger that the RI might be sold. Its continuing history of outstanding scientific research and of inspiring public science education, especially for young people, make it one of London’s, and the world’s, great cultural institutions, alongside such places as the Royal Opera House and the Royal Academy. Even if the RI’s work were to continue elsewhere it is likely to be less influential; the history of a place like the the RI adds weight to its effectiveness.

I never worked at the RI but I attended many of the regular colloquia organised by George Porter when he moved there from Sheffield. (I was in his Sheffield group 1962 – 65 when you were also there.) I remember how lively and stimulating those meetings were.

I should like to add my name to any campaign you are able to organise to save the RI so that its great work can continue. (You can quote any of my comments under my name if you so wish.)

Kind regards.

Yours sincerely

Tessa

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To here uploaded 24/1/2013 8.10 pm D

Remaining messages of support received between 20th and 22nd January will be posted here as soon as possible.

One Response to Supporting messages

  1. Steve Adams says:

    We must save the Royal Institution. It is an iconic British scientific landmark. It has been and is an inspiration to young aspiring scientists and a wonderful centre for the public explanation of science. I recall visiting as sixth former and many times as an adult at the Friday evening discourses – there is no other place like it and its historical significance is immense. We cannot let it go.

    Steve Adams
    Head of Science, Shrewsbury School
    Chair of the ’59 Club (Heads of Sciences of 35 Independent Schools)

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