The Royal Society of Victoria is the State’s oldest scientific society, a part of Australia’s intellectual life since 1854. The Society convenes an independent community of science practitioners, educators, industrialists and enthusiasts to advocate for and advance the value, prestige, excellence and visibility of scientific education, research methodology and achievement for the benefit of the State of Victoria.

We promote an understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Medicine (STEMM) to the Victorian community, explaining the important role of rigour in the scientific method to inform scientific literacy and objective decision making in our state.

Located in a heritage-listed building at 8 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, the Society provides a dynamic program of outreach, partnerships, lectures, forums, programs and projects concerned with increasing community science engagement, scientific literacy and evidence-based decision making. A further overview of who we are and what we do is available at our About Us page.

Recent Updates

Rachel Carey admiring lettuce

Where does your food come from? Will it always be there?


- Supply disruptions affect food prices, most affecting people on low incomes and those already food insecure. Fewer than 5% of Australian adults eat the recommended number of vegetable servings daily. If everyone did, we would not have enough. Led by Dr Rachel Carey, the Foodprint Melbourne project seeks to increase equitable access to fresh, healthy foods and promote sustainable production for current and future generations of Australians.
Amy Coetsee

Bringing the Eastern Barred Bandicoots Back


- The home of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot once stretched from Melbourne to the South Australian border. In the 1970’s, the population dropped to around 1000 and then, within a decade, there were only 150 left. The last refuge of the EBBs was in Hamilton – one of the last places in Victoria they could be found in the wild. In 1988, the EBB Recovery Team was formed to respond to the continued population decline, and they had to act quickly.

Collecting Insights – Environmental Adaptation in Victoria


- Taxonomy provides a way to communicate information about species and their context in nature. Australia is estimated to be home to 600,000 species of flora and fauna, yet 70% remain unnamed. At the current rate, it will take 400 years to identify them all. New technologies such as genetic sequencing, artificial intelligence and supercomputing can help speed up the process before extinctions make it impossible.
Guy Ritani on Ancestral Biology

Ecology Now


- As a custodian species of the planet's ecosystems, we have become disconnected from our responsibilities, attending to the patterns that build the complex web of life. Our activities and waste products are disrupting ecosystems, impacting the reproductive success of other animals. Pharmaceutical waste can persist even in the most remote places on the planet, including Antarctica. But it's not all bad news, particularly if we pay attention to where we've come from, and where we're going.
PoV Panel with NHS Students

A Hard-Won Theory: Tectonic Plates in Victoria


- 'Plate tectonics' describes fragments of the Earth’s outer shell that move against, over, and under one another at their boundaries, slowly changing the shape and location of our continents and oceans. The theory revolutionised the Earth sciences field by providing an understanding of how mountains are built, volcanoes erupt, and earthquakes are triggered. But while the theory is now a given, this hard-won scientific consensus represents an historic moment in living memory.

SealSpotters


- Seals were harvested heavily in south-eastern Australia in the 1800’s, reducing thriving colonies of five seal species to a single species. Today, citizen scientists from every continent participate in the annual SealSpotter Challenge, using footage from drones flying over Seal Rocks to count the number of pups. This count enables scientists like Dr Rebecca McIntosh and Ross Holmberg to analyse seal population data faster and more accurately so that they can see how the population is fairing over time.

Australia’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic


- Being on the front lines, Professors Michael Toole and Deb Williamson have to navigate not only the changing situation and constant influx of information, but also the media. Michael was not prepared for the media storm – since April 2020, he has had 520 media engagements with news outlets around the world. Similarly, every study on COVID testing published by Deb’s team has been picked up by the media and she has sometimes felt ambushed.

Opening Biomolecular Pathways – The 2021 Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award


- The Society is delighted to congratulate Dr Christopher Draper-Joyce, the 2021 recipient of the Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award, and the first to be awarded in the new category of Biomedical and Health Sciences. Christopher’s postdoctoral work extends his analytical and molecular pharmacology skillset into the field of structural biology, shedding new light on the molecular mechanisms of drug-receptor action.
Andy Ball

Restoring Ecosystems & Recovering Resources – The Royal Society of Victoria’s 2021 Research Medallist


- With deep expertise in environmental microbiology and biotechnology, Professor Andrew Ball's research focuses on developing clean, sustainable technologies to remediate environmental contamination, looking for ways of removing contaminants – particularly petroleum hydro-carbons (oil), but also other organic pollutants - from soils, groundwater and water bodies.