Royal Institution board survives vote

Rebel members at the Royal Institution (RI), the 211-year-old scientific research centre, last night failed in their bid to oust its ruling body and reinstate Baroness Susan Greenfield as the head of the organisation.

The 512-to-121 vote in favour of the board followed came after a two-hour debate attended by 650 members. Supporters of the former director, who was made redundant in January, had called a special general meeting to replace the ruling council with a new transitional team. But last night's vote saw 81 per cent of members go against a resolution calling for the leadership to be ousted. It means that the new team led by Adrian de Ferranti, the chairman, can continue financial restructuring of the organisation which is thought to be losing £100,000 a month.

Supporters say that Lady Greenfield, one of the country's leading neuroscientists, had been unfairly blamed for the institution's funding position. Lady Greenfield has since launched legal proceedings against her former employer, claiming she was the victim of sexual discrimination and unfairly dismissed.

In a statement before the vote, those backing the move to oust the current leadership said the redundancy of the directorship was "but one example of detrimental governance and disregard for the members".

A statement from the RI said: "We are delighted with the result and extremely pleased the members have given their support to the Council and staff."

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