||This is a tale of two institutions, both with a home in London but possessing global reach, and both charged with missions to gather, generate and transmit knowledge for a greater good. The elder institution, celebrating its 350th anniversary this year, is the Royal Society, or to give it its full title, as named in a royal charter of 1663, the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. The fellows who met in the second half of the seventeenth century – including Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren and Isaac Newton – gathered to witness public demonstrations of the new experimental science, many of which were reported in the pioneering journal, the Transactions of the Royal Society. Through the eighteenth century the Royal Society served as the premier site for scholarly and genteel debate over natural science. The younger institution is University College, London. Founded in 1826, the new university was designed as a progressive and secular alternative to Oxford and Cambridge, universities which demanded that students and faculty accept Anglican doctrine. UCL has taught across the humanities and sciences from its foundation, and soon developed a very strong medical school in association with its sister institution, University College Hospital, established in the 1830s. Key figures in the establishment of UCL, such as Henry Brougham, were Fellows of the Royal Society, while, as we shall see, many scholars found professorships a step to Fellowship of the elite scientific body, or vice versa.