Celebrating 5 years at 41 Portland Place

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Academy calling 41 Portland Place home.

The building was donated to the Academy by the Novartis Foundation (previously the Ciba Foundation) after the Foundation wound up its activities in 2007. The Foundation’s primary concern was ensuring the building’s rich legacy lived on and the handover to the Academy was the perfect solution. It ensured that the building’s reputation as a centre for world-class biomedical discussion could flourish once again. A full refurbishment supported by a highly successful £5million capital appeal provided the Academy with an impressive new headquarters, made possible only by the generous support of our Fellows and funders.

The building has a rich history, with the Foundation based here from 1949 until 2008. It was well known for the scientific symposia and meetings that attracted thousands of scientists from around the world, including some 84 Nobel Laureates. In his welcoming remarks at the opening of The Ciba Foundation in 1949, Trustee Lord Beveridge described 41 Portland Place as a ‘laboratory for mixing scientists’. This description still rings true today and finds an echo in the core business of the Academy, in our role in national policy-making, and in the interdisciplinary nature of our projects, symposia and consultations.

Establishing our permanent headquarters has undoubtedly increased our profile, engagement and influence.  But this has also fostered a dramatic increase in demand for our expertise over the last five years. As a result, the Academy is again calling on our supporters to help us facilitate a step-change in our activities. We launched the Transformation Fund in 2014 aiming to raise £5million to support our new work.

While not everyone has a building to donate, you can still help us achieve our goals through becoming a member of the Helix Group. This group includes the Academy’s most valued supporters who contribute £250 or more to the Academy each year. Visit our Helix Group page to read more about how you can become a member.


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