Our governance

Constitution and principal activity

The Science Council was established under Royal Charter in October 2003. An amended Charter received Privy Council seal on 10th December 2008. The Science Council was registered as a charity with the Charity Commission in September 2009 (Charity number: 1131661).

The Science Council’s purpose, as defined in its Royal Charter, is to promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge of and education in science, pure and applied. The Board updated the Science Council’s Public Benefit statement in September 2017. To achieve the organisation’s purpose as set out in its Royal Charter and deliver its public benefit objective, the Board of Trustees agreed a new strategy in January 2016, subsequently updated in September 2017.

Structure and governance

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall leadership of the Science Council, and in partnership with its constituent Members setting its values, standards, aims and objectives and delivering them in line with the objects of the Royal Charter. The Board consists of a Chair who a trustee and is elected by the Board, up to 12 Elected Trustees and 3 Appointed trustees. The Board can also co-opt members to fill up to two elected trustee vacancies that may arise between General Meetings.

There are three Board Committees: Governance; Finance, Audit and Risk and the Registration Authority. The current Chair of the Registration Authority and Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee are independent. They attend Board meetings but are not trustees. The Chair of the Governance Committee is a trustee.

Member Bodies

The Members Bodies are the guardians of the charity’s constitution, ensuring that the objects of the Science Council’s Royal Charter are delivered. Members have the following powers, which are carried out at General Meetings:

  • Electing and (in certain circumstances) removing the elected members of the Board
  • electing the President
  • electing and (in certain circumstances) removing organisations from membership
  • approving the appointment and remuneration of the auditors
  • approving amendments to the annual subscription fee
  • approving changes to the charity’s Royal Charter and Bylaws
  • receiving and considering the annual report and accounts of the Council.

In addition to these formal powers Member Bodies also hold the Board to account for the delivery of the charter objects and adherence to the laws of the charity, and provide critique and opinion to the Board on the overall progress of the charity.