The Royal Society of Victoria convenes Victoria’s science community. It is the State’s oldest learned society and a part of Australia’s intellectual life since 1854. Located in a heritage-listed building at 8 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, the Society provides a dynamic program of lectures, symposia and forums about science.

Membership is open to anyone interested in science, its history and supporting its promotion for the benefit of the community.

Through the RSV Science Foundation, the Society supports community outreach and scientific research through an awards program, recognising lifetime achievements and encouraging early career progression of Victorian scientists through a suite of special honours and prizes.

Free public lectures on compelling topics across the disciplines are held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. See our upcoming lectures featured on this page, or view the full year’s program of lectures here. While attendance is free, numbers are limited and we recommend booking your place; details are available on each event’s page.

Recent Updates

To our Members & Friends: Starting a Conversation About our Future


- FROM THE CEO - Today we've released our "Magic" proposal, a transformational vision to "supercharge" our mission to engage Victorian communities with science, establish an exciting new science communication and heritage hub in Melbourne's CBD, and ensure that we're around for another 160 years and beyond, promoting science across Victoria to the very best of our abilities. This changes everything - "Magic" is a once in a generation opportunity for the Society, and for Victoria, and I really hope you can support the initiative. The building proposal is currently a high level concept - something we know we can achieve financially and structurally, as a powerful way to resource and resurrect our heritage facilities and enduring mission, but there are many hurdles to clear and functions to clarify before we can proceed. This is just the start of a longer conversation.

Science and Magic – Melbourne’s Tallest Tower


- A super slender 60 storey residential tower would revitalise Melbourne’s 159-year-old science hub in plans released by the Royal Society of Victoria and Decibel Architecture today. The proposition will secure a sustainable future for the Royal Society of Victoria, enabling the continuation of their state-wide work into the future, by utilising the small undeveloped triangle of land on the corner of La Trobe Street and Victoria Street to create a bespoke residential tower dedicated to science and the spirit of the Royal Exhibition Buildings World Heritage Precinct. The project will create a flow of millions of dollars to revitalise the Royal Society of Victoria, enabling it to create a perpetual endowment fund to resource the RSV’s purpose, with projects and awards programs to be supercharged for the next 160 years.
Phil Law

Call for Applications: The Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award for the Physical Sciences


- Applications are sought for the 2018 Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award for the Physical Sciences, given for excellence in scientific research by an early career researcher in the area of astronomy, astrophysics, chemistry, mathematics, physics, all branches of engineering, and related sciences. The Award is available to candidates within seven years (at the deadline for application) of the awarding of their doctorate from a university in the state of Victoria, Australia. The successful candidate will receive an award certificate and a prize of $3,000, given following an address to the Royal Society of Victoria on the evening of 27th September, 2018.

Our Mesozoic Menagerie


- Our evidence for the existence of the different dinosaurs that lived in prehistoric Australia comes from fossilised animal remains and other records of life, such as fossilised footprints. Specific conditions are required for fossilisation to occur, which means that not all life-forms from the Mesozoic Era are preserved, but they are all we have to determine the types of animals that existed during this time. As Swinburne University palaeontologist Dr Stephen Poropat puts it, ‘we need the right rocks!’.

Call for Nominations: RSV Medal for Research Excellence


- Nominations for the 2018 RSV Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research are now OPEN. The Medal has been presented over 59 years to the highest achieving Victorian scientists in research fields across four award categories. Submissions are invited for high-achieving candidates in Category II: Biomedical and Health Sciences. This canvasses the disciplines of Genetics, Immunology, Human Physiology, Human Anatomy, Pathology, Neurology, Epidemiology, Endocrinology, Radiology, Microbiology, Medical Parasitology, Nuclear Medicine, and related human sciences.

The Crossroads: Aboriginal knowledge & modern science


- Dr Duane W. Hamacher's work seeks to understand how the first Australians developed and embedded scientific information into their knowledge systems. Working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders, students, and knowledge custodians across Australia, he listens to their stories, songs, and traditions to learn about Indigenous astronomical and geological knowledge, and understand the connections between sky, land, and sea.