The Royal Institution
of Great Britain was set up in 1799 by the leading lights of the age, including Henry Cavendish
and its first president George Finch, the 9th Earl of Winchilsea
, for "diffusing the knowledge, and facilitating the general introduction, of useful mechanical inventions and improvements; and for teaching, by courses of philosophical lectures and experiments, the application of science to the common
purposes of life."
The institution gained it's Royal Charter in 1800 and supported the public understanding of science through various lectures, many of which continue today. The most famous of these are the Christmas Lectures for Children, founded by Michael Faraday