By Charles Tanford & Jacqueline Reynolds

Geological Society of London

The creation of this society in 1807 was controversial, perceived by many as unwarranted intrusion on traditional turf of the Royal Society. It has an intriguing meeting room with opposing benches, as in the House of Commons, rather than the standard auditorium structure – quite appropriate in view of the many huge professional arguments that have taken place here. There is a bust of Charles Lyell in the library and pictures of other famous geologists hang on the walls. One painting on the staircase is a depiction of some of the principal figures in the Piltdown case in the process of examining the famous skull. This building is not open to the general public, but anyone with even a remote professional interest can walk in and at least see the library.