Fellows of the Royal Society are elected to the Royal Society by their peers who consider them to have made "a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge including mathematics, engineering science and medical science". According to the Society's website, "the main criterion for election as a Fellow is scientific excellence."
The Royal Society is the national academy of sciences of the United Kingdom. The current Fellowship is composed of about 1600 "of the most distinguished scientists from the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland." According to the Society's archives there have been approximately 8,500 Fellows of the society since its foundation in 1660. The Society maintains lists of current Fellows , of past and current Fellows and, among other resources, the Sackler Archive Resource.
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