Since its establishment as a chartered society, the Royal Society has been providing scientific-based advice in various area of public life. Health-related issues have always been a crucial area of research that eminent Fellows have contributed to and which was the subject of investigations commissioned to the Royal Society.
Documents related to the Glassworkers' Cataract Committee illustrates the ramifications of health-policy work following official instructions by the Home Office to the Royal Society to investigate the effects of glass working on workers eyes. The clinical investigations led to fundamental research in ophthalmology, in the physics of transmission of light and heat as well as allowing crucial developments in workers’ health protection. Once again, it is through the publication of their reports in the subject that the Committee circulated their findings.