“Research into matters that are useful to the community is capable of being charitable under the fourth head [of charity as defined by Lord Macnaghten i.e. serving a “public benefit”] as well as falling under the head of education and…”
[supported by case law: Re Besterman’s Will Trusts (1980) Times, 22 January repeated in McGovern v A-G  Ch 321. And see The Consumers’ Co  Ch Com Rep 12-14, paras 28-32].
Source: Extract from The Law and Practice Relating to Charities, 4th Edition Hubert Picardo QC (p. 220-221).
Comment: This means that the charitability of an incorporated society can be established in law under at least two heads: advancement of education AND serving a “public benefit” through the “promotion of moral or spiritual welfare or improvement”.