The Royal Society of Victoria is our State’s scientific society, founded in 1854. The Society convenes an independent community of science practitioners, educators, industrialists and enthusiasts to promote the understanding and utilisation of scientific knowledge for the benefit of the State of Victoria. Membership is open to any individuals or organisations keen to be involved.

We broker engagement between practitioners of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Medicine (STEMM) and the broader Victorian community, seeking to improve general scientific literacy, evidence-based decision making and the translation of scientific knowledge into purposeful actions in our State.

Headquartered on Wurundjeri land in a heritage-listed building at 8 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, the Society provides a statewide program of outreach, partnerships, lectures, forums, programs and projects. A further overview of who we are and what we do is available at our About Us page.

Recent Updates

The Powerful Force that is Women in STEMM

- When women support and uplift each other, we can overcome the isolation and discouragement that can hinder success and pave the way for future generations of women in science. As I took the incredibly scary step of moving away from the research trajectory and swapping my lab coat for science communication, it was made much easier knowing how many people were cheering me on. We truly empower one another.

Cracking the Code

- While initiatives to increase the number of women studying STEM are important, it is equally important to create employment opportunities where these women can apply their learning in real-life environments. “You can’t be what you can’t see” - so if we encourage our girls to study STEM but they cannot see their mothers or other female role models working as scientists, technologists, engineers, or mathematicians, then what exactly is the point? 

Investing in Women in STEMM

- Real change and attainment of gender equity will only be fulfilled when government, academia – including its societies and colleges - and industry work together as a collective to drive systemic change directed by grassroots advocacy and initiatives. Solutions cannot be about fixing women, but instead need to focus on shifting the barriers and changing the fundamental ways things are done, including our ideas of what traits valuable leaders possess.

STEM & Society: Women and Girls in Science

- These five women alone demonstrate how varied a “STEM career” can be: a researcher, an engineer, a medical director, a radio science journalist, and a STEM career strategist. If we can attract more girls into STEM fields, then we will need systemic change to create an environment they would then want to stay in. Women face many and varied cultural and systemic barriers to success; there are extra hurdles faced by all.
Dr Catherine de Burgh-Day

Who Are We Leaving Behind?

- A big reason that there are a lot of women coming to schools to talk to girls about careers is because there are women in the schools motivated to invite them, and there are women out there motivated to donate their time to come and talk. I would love to be a role model who could come and talk to young men about careers and about how to embrace their masculinity in a positive way, but I am not who they need – they need a male role model they can relate to.

On the RSV’s Response to the Biodiversity Crisis

- The recognition, management, and mitigation of the increasing risk posed by biodiversity loss is not yet a regular part of risk management, as climate change has become. There is still work to do to raise awareness of the economic impact of biodiversity loss, and then to manage and reverse this impact. “Towards Conservation and Recovery of Victoria’s Biodiversity” provides recommendations and practical actions to assist us all.

Optimising Healthcare

- Unnecessary overtreatment costs Australia $30 billion per annum. Only 60% of diagnostics and treatments are effective, while 30% is of no or little value and 10% can be harmful. So while medical care undoubtedly provides many benefits to many people, sometimes treatments can be ineffective and sometimes even downright harmful. We could save more than 8,000 kilotons of carbon emissions by scrapping low value care that does not demonstrate any benefit.

The Evolution of Life on Earth

- ‘Trees are the architects of the modern world,’ says Dr Ashleigh Hood. At the end of the Devonian period, forests emerged and spread, providing a great source of oxygen via photosynthesis. So while many consider the emergence of animals to be the principal driver of contemporary life, Ashleigh’s work suggests the atmospheric oxygen provided by terrestrial plants has been foundational to the emergence of Earth's modern biosphere.

New Fellows Inducted to the Royal Society of Victoria

- On the afternoon of 8 December 2022, the Society was delighted to gather our members and partners to induct our new Fellows, who were appointed in 2021 and 2022 yet remained uncelebrated due to the continuing disruptions of the global pandemic. All RSV Fellows are appointed "in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the public appreciation of science and expertise in the State of Victoria."