The Royal Institution is a Grade I listed building and event space in the heart of Mayfair. Throughout its history, the Institution has supported public engagement with science through a program of lectures, many of which continue today. The most famous of these are the annual Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, founded by Michael Faraday.
The Institution has had an instrumental role in the advancement of science since its founding. Notable scientists who have worked there include Sir Humphry Davy (who discovered sodium and potassium), Michael Faraday, James Dewar, Sir William Henry Bragg and Sir William Lawrence Bragg (who jointly won the Nobel prize for their work on x-ray diffraction), Max Perutz, John Kendrew, Antony Hewish and George Porter. In the 19th century, Faraday carried out much of his research, which laid the groundwork for the practical exploitation of electricity at the Royal Institution. In total, fifteen scientists attached to the Royal Institution have won Nobel Prizes. Ten chemical elements, including sodium, were discovered there; the electric generator was devised at the Institution, and much of the early work on the atomic structure of crystals was carried out within it.