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

Weaving Indigenous Knowledge into Agriculture


- There are around 6,500 different types of Australian native foods, but there are many barriers to First Nations people commercialising them. Currently, Aboriginal people only receive 1-2% of revenue from the commercial bush food space. The good news is that 40% of the land mass has been returned to Traditional Custodians, and now with a formalised commercialisation and export strategy for native foods, the opportunities for Indigenous producers are endless.

Let’s Torque – 2021 Grand Final


- Let’s Torque is a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) communication skills development initiative that runs a public speaking competition for undergraduate students. In 2017, a group of students in Monash University's Global Challenges course (BSc Honours) launched a dynamic program that is now run by and for students from all universities across the state. Our thanks to all participants for stepping up for this year's locked-down competition!
A dingo

Yield to the Dingo


- Wooleen Station pastoralist David Pollock demonstrates the grazing systems used in the arid rangelands regions of Australia are not sustainable. Periodic rest periods for important pasture species have not been adopted due to high competition for grazing from rabbits, wild goats and kangaroos. David argues the best solution to this unmanaged grazing is the dingo, an important apex predator in the ecosystem unhelpfully mischaracterized as a “wild dog” to justify widespread culling programs.

Young Scientist Research Prizes 2021


- Every year, final year PhD candidates present their doctoral studies to the Royal Society of Victoria, competing for prizes recognising excellence in Victoria’s young researchers. Eight finalists present under the four categories: Biological Sciences, Biomedical & Health Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Physical Sciences. In our second year of COVID lockdowns, our participants rose to the challenge to deliver compelling presentations for National Science Week.
Simon Holmes a Court

“Silver Buckshot” for Energy Transition


- How do we transition to a zero carbon energy market? Simon Holmes à Court believes we have much to learn from other countries with more advanced thinking in this space - they have spent the past decade thinking not about whether they should transition, but how. The 2017 Finkel Review created a blueprint to move Australia away from its high-emissions market by ramping up renewables and energy storage uptake. Are we on track?

Coastal Resilience: Shifting Sands and Battered Beaches


- Our sea levels are rising. Understanding the dynamics of the beach envelope and its overlap with human infrastructure is fundamental for effective coastal management. Dr David Kennedy studies the dynamic adaptation of beaches in the past to inform how we can manage them into the future. While NSW beaches have been studied for decades, but we are only just starting to understand the behaviours of Victoria's beaches and their underlying geology.

New Stewardship of Country


- The latest issue of the Proceedings of the RSV features papers from the 2021 'Stewardship of Country’ Symposium, which delivered presentations across multiple domains of land management practice and scholarly expertise, representing an historic collaboration between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experts, industry practitioners and thinkers. The series posed the question: who are we becoming, as Australians faced with an increasingly unpredictable and challenging future?
Laura Mackay

A Fighting Memory: Tissue-Resident Memory T Cells


- Generally, memory T cells were thought to constantly patrol the entire body, scouting for the return of the pathogen they are trained against. Then, ten years ago, some memory T cells were found to permanently reside in the site of infection where they are poised to mediate local immune responses should the pathogen come back. They are thus called “tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells” and reside in common sites of infection.
Map

Are We Living in Liveable Cities?


- When Billie Giles-Corti first came to Melbourne, she was challenged by her colleague Dr Ian Butterworth to provide evidence that good urban planning is connected to health in a way that could influence policy. They looked into the social determinants of health: the economic, social and political systems that shape conditions of daily life. They believed that health is linked to access to reliable public transport, health food, local parks, places of leisure, and friends and family.