The Royal Society’s Council seeks to sharpen the RSV’s role in promoting science-based decision-making in Victoria with the wider community, government and the corporate sector. To this end, we want to ensure our membership has an opportunity to contribute to the establishment of an agreed position on important issues and support new programs designed to engage and empower Victorian communities in plotting their course for the future, providing a science-based, critical resource for all sectors.
There is no denying that climate change is here. In many of the articles I have written for the Royal Society of Victoria, climate change seems to be a common thread woven among them. In Australia, this means warmer temperatures, less rainfall, and more extreme weather events. How do we ensure our land is ready for the change that is already happening and continues to intensify? Years of attending RSV presentations only reinforce in my mind our desperate need for better land management.
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.
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.
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.