The Royal Society Former Staff Association (RSFSA) is the body for all former staff members and pensioners of the Royal Society, providing activities and services to enable those who have worked at the Royal Society to maintain contact with each other for social and professional purposes, and to support members in need.


The objects of the Association are:

  • To provide activities and services to enable those who have worked at the Royal Society to maintain contact with each other for social and professional purposes.
  • To support members in need and provide welfare and assistance as appropriate.
  • To support the purposes of The Royal Society, acting as an ambassador and holder of historical knowledge.


The RSFSA was established as the Royal Society Pensioners' Association (RSPA) in 1986 at the instigation of Dr Ronald Keay (Executive Secretary 1977–85), who felt there was a benefit in the pensioners’ (then numbering around 30) having some form of club or association for social and welfare reasons, and to monitor pension issues. With the support of the Society and the Pension Trustees, an inaugural meeting was held on 6 June 1986 and the RSPA formed, open to all pensioners and retired staff.

By the mid-'90s it had widened its membership criteria to include any staff who had worked at the RS for 5 years or more, whether or not retired. In 2013 the Association revised its objectives, constitution and programme to become an ‘alumni’ body for all former staff members, pensioners and deferred pensioners who were confirmed in a permanent or short-term employment contract at The Royal Society. At the same time, the Association changed its name to become the Royal Society Former Staff Association.

Click here for information about the consultation in 2011 to 2013 on the Association's future.


Day-to-day management is handled by a Committee elected by the AGM. The Committee currently comprises the Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Social (Events) Secretary, Professional Activities Secretary, Welfare Secretary, Editor of Beyond The Terrace, a member elected at the AGM, and up to three co-opted members. The current members are listed on the right-hand side of this page.

Chairs of the Association: Dr Ronald Keay (1986-93), Norman Robinson (1993-97), David Griffin (1997-2002), George Hemmen (2002-08), Dr Peter Warren (2008-13), Mary Manning (2013-2018), Peter Cooper (2018- ).

Activities and benefits

  • A newsletter, Beyond The Terrace, 2–3 issues p.a.
  • Occasional updates, normally by email, of urgent information and other material of interest.
  • Social visits and events, including an annual New Year lunch.
  • Professional Activities Programme, seminars and activities for members to provide career support, development and guidance, drawing on the enormous breadth of knowledge, expertise, experience, skills and contacts of those who have worked at the RS at one time or another.
  • Welfare and support – the Committee works to keep in touch with members, especially when they are sick or become old or infirm, to ensure that members', or their partners’, needs are known. A Welfare Fund is used to meet costs of travel between London terminals and the AGM for members who need it, for flowers for funerals, and for flowers/gift tokens in the event of serious illness or hospitalisation.
  • Networking and social groups – in addition to general news of members in Beyond The Terrace, groups of members maintain their own links and occasionally meet together.

Membership numbers

Chart of membership growth

Subscription rates

The current subscription rate for members is £10 p.a. Where a couple were both staff members then a single subscription is payable. Widows/ers of former staff may continue as members and pay a 50% subscription. The Committee has the ability to waive the subscription of members who are unable – through health or finances – to pay their subscription.

Last updated: 13 October 2021