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.

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

Geography of the Yarra River


- At the boundary between the basalts of the western suburbs of Melbourne and the Silurian sedimentary rocks of the eastern suburbs, the Merri Creek meets the Yarra River. The location is rich in the history of contact between Indigenous and European peoples, and in the industrial history of Melbourne. It holds the complex geological story of the lavas and turbidities that underpin the geography of Melbourne, told by Dr James Driscoll and Mr Rob Gell AM.

The Big Bang …and All That Follows!


- In 2019, to celebrate International Year of the Periodic Table and the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev's 1869 discovery, Melbourne artists Damon Kowarsky and Hyunju Kim were commissioned to design 51 images describing the birth of the universe through to the charting of the elements on the Periodic Table. These 51 images were installed on hexagons in the gallery at Quantum Victoria.

Wattleseed


- Over time, wattles have been used for a wealth of purposes such as a source of fuel, medicines, perfume, feed for animals, woodcrafts and in particular, food. It is the pods of these species that contain wattleseeds, a bush food that became a staple over 6,000 years ago as part of the traditional diet for many Indigenous peoples. Mostly found growing in the arid regions of Central Australia, Acacia victoriae, is the most common edible species.

The Secrets of Australian Caves and Karst


- Australia's caves were formed over millions of years, and exploring them is a journey to a hidden underworld that holds many wonders. But caves and karst landforms need our protection. They house complex ecosystems, critical habitat for plants, animals, and micro-organisms which, in many cases, cannot survive elsewhere. The biggest threat is overuse from tourism – which builds positive awareness, but also damages their natural integrity.

Building a New Manufacturing Sector in Victoria


- Sustainability is becoming core to big business. CSIRO's Chief Scientist, Professor Bronwyn Fox, is concerned that Australia is at risk of being cut out of global supply chains if we cannot provide evidence of reducing our carbon emissions. She seeks to leverage our mining sector’s use of digitisation, automation, and control for on-shore manufacturing, creating a suite of technologies that change the way we think about time and space.

Will Quantum Computing Save the Planet?


- It should come as no surprise that quantum computers are inherently good at solving problems in quantum mechanics. Most of these opportunities lie at the intersection with chemical engineering or materials science, meaning the types of technological issues critical to addressing climate change and power generation will be among the first to benefit from quantum computers as their power increases.

Seeking an Independent Taskforce to Address the Biodiversity Crisis


- Knowledge holders and leaders from across Victoria, including Traditional Owners, gathered at the Royal Society of Victoria to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Victoria in biodiversity conservation and recovery, considering the urgent need to establish an independent Taskforce. RSV President Rob Gell framed the biodiversity crisis as “everyone’s problem.”

You Can’t Bake the Same Cake Twice


- You may wonder whether we can separate the cake of life’s three main ingredients: genes, environment, and developmental variation. This remains a goal of many researchers. But just as we can’t un-bake a cake to produce flour, eggs, and sugar, we can’t completely separate out the factors that make you an individual. Things are complicated because genes, environment and developmental variation interact.

The Science Doughnut


- At the Australian Synchrotron, electrons are shot out from an electron gun so that they are already travelling at over half the speed of light. They are then sped up further until they nearly reach the speed of light and are shot out into an inner “booster ring” to boost their energy. Once the electrons have gained enough energy, they are shot into an outer ring. Hence the affectionate nickname – the two rings form a doughnut.