Bakerian Lecturer

Bakerian Lecturers of the Royal Society of London


The Bakerian Lectures originated in 1775 through a bequest by Henry Baker, himself a Fellow of the Royal Society from 1740 and a Copley Medalist in 1744, of £100 for an oration or discourse which was to be spoken or read yearly by one of the Fellows of the Royal Society:-

... on such part of natural history or experimental philosophy, at such time and in such manner as the President and the Council of the Society for the time being shall be pleased to order and appoint.

A gift of £10 was associated with the lecture in the 1930s which had risen to a gift of £1000 by the 1980s.

The list we give has been restricted to those whose biographies appear in this Archive, or are listed among the recent Fellows of Royal Society for whom we have no biography.

1823 John Herschel
On certain motions produced in fluid conductors when transmitting the electric current (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. 1824).

1837 William Fox Talbot
Further observations on the optical phenomena of crystals (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. 1837).

1838 James Ivory
On the theory of the astronomical refractions (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. 1838).

1840 George Airy
On the theoretical explanation of an apparent new polarity of light (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. 1840).

1856 William Thomson
On the electro-dynamic qualities of metals (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. 1856).

1866 James Clerk Maxwell
On the viscosity or internal friction of air and other gases (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. 1866).

1891 George Darwin
On tidal prediction (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 182).

1897 Osbourne Reynolds
On the mechanical equivalent of heat (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 190).

1902 Lord Rayleigh
On the law of the pressure of gases between 75 and 150 millimetres of mercury (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 198).

1909 Sir Joseph Larmor
On the statistical and thermo-dynamical relations of radiant energy (Proc. Roy. Soc. A 83).

1917 James Jeans
The configuration of rotating compressible masses (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 218).

1923 Geoffrey Taylor
The distortion of an aluminium crystal during a tensile test (Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. A 102).

1926 Arthur Eddington
Diffuse matter in interstellar space (Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. A 111).

1929 Edward Milne
The structure and opacity of a stellar atmosphere (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 228).

1931 Sydney Chapman
Some phenomena in the upper atmosphere (Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. A 132).

1941 P A M Dirac
The physical interpretation of quantum mechanics (Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. A 180, 1).

1952 H Jeffreys
The origin of the solar system (Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. A 214, 281).

1961 M J Lighthill
Sound generated aerodynamically (Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. A 267, 147).

1968 F Hoyle
Review of recent developments in cosmology (Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. A 308, 1).

1975 M F Atiyah
Global geometry (Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. A 347, 291).

1987 M V Berry
The semiclassical chaology of quantum eigenvalues (Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. A 413, 183)

2008 James Murrary
Mathematics in the real world: From brain tumours to saving marriages

MacTutor links:

Royal Society of London
History of the Royal Society
Fellows of the Royal Society
Presidents of the Royal Society

Royal Society Prizes etc:

Royal Medal
Sylvester Medal
Copley Medal
Bakerian Lectures

Other Web site:

Royal Society Web site


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JOC/EFR February 2010

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