The Institution was initiated in 1930 by a number of scientists and engineers who were interested in the applications of high-frequency electricity, particularly in the field of telecommunications. The rapid growth of membership brought together, not only those whose primary interest was in this field, but also many who were concerned with other developments in the science of electronics. The study of the electron from the standpoint of the physicist and the theory and practice of electrotherapeutics inevitably became matters of importance to many of the members. Thus the scope of the Institution was widened beyond the field of telecommunications to include all subjects which come together under the general title of the Science of Electronics.
Owing to the specialisation which is inevitable in so great a subject, the membership is classified, according to the special interests of the members, in the three divisions of Physics, Applied Electronics and ElectroTherapeutics. There is, however, no essential segregation of the membership, and a member of one group who is interested in the work of the others is cordially welcomed to participate in other groups.