Historical photo of the Royal Society of Victoria building

Saturday 15 June 2024 marked 17 decades of the promotion and advancement of science and learning in Victoria by the Royal Society of Victoria. The Society was established by a group of research scholars, educators, policy leaders, innovators and change makers.

From its earliest days the Society has worked to develop the knowledge base of Victoria’s communities, governments and industries, and to understand the unique nature of Victoria’s landscapes, plants and animals through sharing and exploring expertise in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

The Society was formed as a result of the merger of two very similar organisations in 1855, both founded in 1854, three years after Victoria’s separation from New South Wales: the Philosophical Society of Victoria, led by the Surveyor-General of the Colony, Captain Andrew Clarke and the Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science, whose first President, Sir Redmond Barry, was the first Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.

Late in 1859 royal assent was granted by Queen Victoria for the Society’s change of name to the Royal Society of Victoria.