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Learned societies and professional bodies
Learned societies

Learned societies are usually national academies of science or similarly constituted bodies, with a broader remit for subject coverage than professional associations, and include:

  • The British Academy
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering
  • The Royal Society
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

There are three other key bodies which are concerned with the public promotion and understanding of science for specialists, the public and children:

  • British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA)
  • The Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI)
  • The Royal Society of Arts.

Foundation for Science and Technology

The following professional bodies belong to the Foundation for Science and Technology which was formed in the late 1970s for promoting and developing science and technology, and bringing about the greater efficiency in industry in the UK. The membership comprises about 500 companies, universities, government departments, research organisations, learned societies and invited individuals. The Foundation provides a neutral and authoratitive platform for the frank discussion of ideas and issues through some twenty meetings a year.

Foundation for Science and Technology
10 Carlton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AH
Telephone +44 (0)20 7321 2220
Fax +44 (0)20 7321 2221

Professional bodies

Professional bodies generally represent a professional grouping and advance the practice of a particular area, maintaining standards of qualification in the profession as well as promoting a wider awareness of career potential in schools and to the public. There are many bodies and their activities include regular specialist meetings, public lectures, publications and library/information service, plus advice in their field of competence to government.

Below is a list of links and contact details for the learned societies and professional bodies discussed on this page:

The Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS)

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)

The Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM)

The Biochemical Society

The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)

The British Computer Society (BCS)

British Academy

British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS)

British Pharmacological Society

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

The Engineering Council
The Engineering Council was founded by Royal Charter in 1981 and is funded through the registration of 290,000 engineers and technicians and by industrial affiliates. In 1995, the Engineering Council and the engineering institutions agreed to create a new unified body to represent and focus the interests of the engineering profession.

The new Engineering Council consists of a senate of fifty-four members from which two operating boards have been drawn. The Board for the Engineering Profession (BEP) provides leadership across the many engineering disciplines and the Board of Engineers' Regulation (BER) sets and monitors standards of education, training and discipline.

Engineering Training Authority (EnTra)
The Engineering Training Authority (EnTra) is the Industry Lead Body and Industry Training Organisation for British engineering manufacture. It was set up and is led by engineering employers. As Lead Body, it sets occupational standards of competence for its sector. As Industry Training Organisation, it is recognised by government as the strategic body responsible for identifying the skill and training needs of the engineering-related manufacturing industry - a large and diverse sector including mechanical engineering, electronics, electrical engineering, aerospace and motor vehicles.

EnTra aims to encourage and support the uptake within UK companies of world-class engineering skills training.

EnTra is approved by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ) to award National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) based on the national five level framework of occupational standards. EnTra offers over forty NVQs in a wide range of skills. These qualifications are also in demand outside the UK.

Public Relations Department
EnTra Training Authority
Vector House
41 Clarendon Road
Hertfordshire WD1 1HS
Telephone +44 (0)1923 238 441
Fax +44 (0)1923 444 900

Institute of Biology
The life sciences are crucial in creating wealth, improving the quality of life through advances in medicine and agriculture, and deepening our understanding of ourselves, our environment, and life on earth. The Institute of Biology speaks as the 'voice of British biology', representing members and the biology profession, promoting the biosciences, enhancing the status of the profession and fostering public understanding of life sciences.

Institute of Materials

Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
The Institution was founded in 1818 and now has around 80,000 members. The ICE has an excellent reputation as a centre of learning, as a qualifying body and as a public voice for the profession.

The Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE)
The Institution has a worldwide membership of over 130,000 and it ranges from students to the most distinguished and highly qualified members of the profession. The IEE's aim is to promote electrical and manufacturing engineering, as well as to provide support and a voice for its members.

The Institute of Electronics and Electrical Incorporated Engineers, (IEEIE)

The Institute of Information Scientists (IIS)

The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)

Institute of Measurement and Control

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was founded in 1847. It has nearly 80,000 members worldwide, with over 10,000 living and working outside the United Kingdom. The Institution's main aim is to promote mechanical engineering. It organizes a technical event programme and it offers the qualification of chatered mechanical engineer.

The Institute of Physics (IOP)

The Institute of Safety in Technology and Research (ISTR)

The International Council for Scientific and Technical Information

International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU)

The Library Association

London Mathematical Association

The Physiological Society

The Royal Academy of Engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering
29 Great Peter Street
London SW1P 3LW
Telephone + 44 (0)171 222 2688
Fax +44 (0)171 233 0054

The Royal Academy of Engineering is the United Kingdom's independent self-governing body of professional engineers of all disciplines; it was founded in 1976 as the Fellowship of Engineering, and was granted a Royal Charter in 1983. The Academy's objectives are the pursuit, encouragement and maintenance of excellence in the whole field of engineering in order to promote the science, art and practice of engineering for the benefit of the public. Election to the Academy is by invitation only; up to sixty Fellows may be elected annually, together with Honorary Fellows and Foreign Members who have made exceptional contributions to engineering. The Academy is funded by a Government grant in aid, members subscriptions and income from contracts.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

The Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI)
Founded in 1799, the RI has a unique role in the public understanding of science. It is open to anyone with an interest in science and to its members for the Friday evening public discourses on science. The RI is a research establishment which investigates solid state and surface chemistry, catalysis, and photochemistry. It arranges lectures for school children, masterclasses for the young and their teachers in mathematics, physics, technology and chemistry. It has a series of annual children's Christmas lectures which are televised and seen by a wide national audience. It also has a small museum (Faraday's laboratory), holds exhibitions and promotes the history of science and technology.

The Royal Society
Granted its first Royal Charter in 1662, the Royal Society is an independent national academy of science which administers a parliamentary grant for its budget, received under the science vote budget through the Office of Science and Technology. This grant forms two-thirds of the Society's disbursements. It has close links with individual government departments, advises many official bodies and non-governmental organizations and works in co-operation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Overseas Development Administration in international scientific matters. Details of the Society's publications may be obtained directly from www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA)

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

The Royal Society of Edinburgh
The Royal Society of Edinburgh undertakes a wide range of activities including organizing interdisciplinary or specialist conferences, awarding and administering a range of research fellowships, studentships and scholarships, provides independent advice to Parliament and Government, encouraging closer links between Scotland's academic and industrial sectors, and promoting the dissemination of scientific knowledge by publishing learned journals.

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS)

Society for Medicines Research

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