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 promote an understanding and utilisation of scientific knowledge for the benefit of the State of Victoria.

We broker engagement between practitioners of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Medicine (STEMM) and the broader Victorian community, explaining the important role of rigour in the scientific method to inform general scientific literacy and evidence-based decision making 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 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

Don’t Roll the Dice with Science Communication

- We need to ensure the public are well equipped to make their own decisions based on an understanding of risk. We use education to encourage people to eat 3-4 servings of vegetables per day rather than enforcing it, while safety is ensured with legislated mandates like wearing seatbelts or banning indoor smoking. Yet vaccine mandates have been disputed, though you might die much faster from being infected by someone than passively breathing in their smoke at a restaurant.
Charles David Keeling

Greenhouse in Australia, 50 Years On

- It had been known for more than hundred years that increases in concentration were likely to warm the planet. So CSIRO commenced work on the modelling of the whole climate system. But in the 1980s it was realised that very few of our Australian colleagues, across a wide range of different disciplines, were either aware of the potential of global warming, or seriously considering, from their own perspectives, whether it was of any importance.

Australian Views on Science and Scientists

- As we followed the evolving research on how COVID-19 spreads, the effectiveness of various prevention measures, and the development of vaccines, the Australian public became used to reading about research findings and seeing graphs and statistics tracking infection rates. This comes on the back of decades of sometimes confusing and misrepresented science regarding climate change. So how do Australians regard science?

Developing Science-Backed Investment Models to Save the Platypus

- “We are known internationally for our science. We must be known for using our science to protect our biodiversity.” Recognising the scarcity of public funding to drive recovery, the RSV is establishing a Natural Capital Financing Working Group to focus on the urgent need to stimulate private sector investments that protect, preserve and regenerate local biodiversity in the face of threats from climate change and habitat loss.

The First Astronomers

- Associate Professor Duane Hamacher is at the intersection of Indigenous Knowledge and modern science. He came to Australia to complete a Masters in astrophysics and a PhD in Indigenous studies. At astrophysics conferences, he sometimes struggled to convince peers that Indigenous Knowledge was anything more than folklore. But Indigenous science is dynamic, adapting to changes in the land, seas and skies, built on careful observation over 65,000+ years.

2022 RSV Fellows Appointed

- This month we welcome new Fellows to provide knowledge leadership across four sectors, representing the first round of recruitment by the RSV towards establishing a new College for Science and Society to help guide our activities, provide appropriate spokespeople to represent formal positions and establish effective partnerships across the sectors to win progress towards aligned goals. Our Fellows will be leading our forthcoming Forum on Biodiversity Conservation and Recovery in June.

New RSV Trustees Appointed

- We are delighted to announce that Governor-in-Council (the Governor and Premier of Victoria) have appointed two new Trustees of the Royal Society of Victoria as of 1 March 2022 in keeping with the terms of our Crown Grant of 1883. Please congratulate Dr Gillian Sparkes AM, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, and Professor Timothy Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, on commencing as Trustees for the land and buildings of the RSV.

Responding to the Era – A Strategic Realignment of Victoria’s Scientific Society

- Our Society’s role as a convenor of Victoria’s science community must be reinvigorated and extended to include sectors and knowledge systems beyond academia. This way, we connect Victorians everywhere with expertise that can enable effective decision making - informed, localised responses to issues both global and regional. We are re-examining and refocusing our strategy, structure and scope of activities.

Neurodiversity – A Beautiful Rainbow

- The term neurodiversity refers to the essentially infinite variability in our neuro-cognitive abilities and needs. It celebrates differences as beautiful rather deficits. Within this inherent diversity, neurodivergent people interact with and interpret the world in unique ways from what neurotypical people might expect. By viewing neurodiversity as a normal variation between every single one of us, we can reduce stigma around learning and thinking differences.