The Royal Society of London for improving Natural Knowledge, usually known simply as the Royal Society, is a self-governing organisation which claims to be the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
It was founded on 28 November 1660, following a lecture at Gresham College by Christopher Wren, the professor of astronomy, when leading scientists decided to found a college for the promoting of physical-mathematical experimental learning. It was granted a royal charter in 1662. Early members included Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, Christopher Wren and John Evelyn, who claimed to have secured the donation of books which formed the basis of the Society's library. Isaac Newton soon became a prominent member.