The Royal Society of Victoria (RSV) is the oldest scientific society in the state of Victoria in Australia.
In 1854 two organisations formed with similar aims and membership, these being The Philosophical Society of Victoria (founded 15 June, 1854, inaugural president Andrew Clarke) and The Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science (founded 12 August, 1854, inaugural president Justice Sir Redmond Barry).These two merged in July 1855 to form the Philosophical Institute of Victoria, with Clarke as the inaugural president. The Philosophical Institute received Royal Charter in 1859, and the first president of the freshly renamed Royal Society of Victoria was Ferdinand von Mueller (later Baron Sir Ferdinand von Mueller), then Victoria's Government Botanist. In 1860 the RSV organised the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition under the Presidency of Victorian Governor Sir Henry Barkly.
The Society has played an important role in the life of Melbourne and Victoria, including a foundational relationship with the Melbourne Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, the Melbourne Observatory and Victoria's National Parks. The Society convened the first Australian Antarctic Exploration Committee in 1885, commissioned the Burke and Wills expedition and established the Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences in 1978 (now the Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute from 1996). Many long-standing community organisations concerned with nature and conservation have grown from an early association with the Royal Society of Victoria, such as the Victorian National Parks Association and the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria.
Located in its heritage-listed headquarters at 8 La Trobe Street, in the centre of Melbourne, the Society's modern role is to communicate and advocate for the important role of science in society, providing twice-monthly public lectures about the latest scientific work and thinking underway in Victoria, and convening forums with government and community to explore an evidence-based approach to issues facing the state.The Society conducts a state-wide program through management of the Inspiring Victoria program, a federally-funded initiative to engage communities with science and promote scientific literacy, including National Science Week.
The Society edits and produces the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, one of Australia's longest-running regional science journals. Back issues from the 19th century through to the early 21st century are digitised and accessible from the State Library of Victoria's online catalogue, along with holdings of the Society's historical papers and archives.Issues published from 2009 are available online, open access through CSIRO Publishing.
The Society confers prizes, awards and medals to recognise high-achievement throughout a scientist's various career stages. RSV bursaries are provided to school students through annual sponsorship of the Science Talent Search run by the Science Teachers' Association of Victoria. Early career researchers are acknowledged annually through the Young Scientist Research Prizes and the Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award. Peak career achievements are recognised through the annual award of the RSV Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research. Distinguished lifetime contributions to science, in particular the public engagement with and understanding of science, are recognised through election as an RSV Fellow.
Fellows of the Royal Society of Victoria are entitled to the use of the professional postnominal FRSV; subscribed members of the RSV are entitled to use of the professional postnominal MRSV.
Georg Balthazar von Neumayer, was a German polar explorer and scientist who was a proponent of the idea of international cooperation for meteorology and scientific observation.
The Burke and Wills expedition was organised by the Royal Society of Victoria in Australia in 1860–61. It consisted of 19 men led by Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills, with the objective of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south, to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 3,250 kilometres. At that time most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by non-Indigenous people and was largely unknown to the European settlers.
The Honorable DrJohn Macadam, was a Scottish-Australian chemist, medical teacher, Australian politician and cabinet minister, and honorary secretary of the Burke and Wills expedition. The genus Macadamia was named after him in 1857. He died in Australia aged 38.
Baron Sir Ferdinand Jacob Heinrich von Mueller, was a German-Australian physician, geographer, and most notably, a botanist. He was appointed government botanist for the then colony of Victoria (Australia) by Governor Charles La Trobe in 1853, and later director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. He also founded the National Herbarium of Victoria. He named many Australian plants.
Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer, commonly referred to as Baldwin Spencer, was a British-Australian evolutionary biologist, anthropologist and ethnologist. He is known for his fieldwork with Aboriginal peoples in Central Australia, contributions to the study of ethnography, and academic collaborations with Frank Gillen. Spencer introduced the study of zoology at the University of Melbourne and held the title of Emeritus Professor until his death in 1929.
Clement Hodgkinson was a notable English naturalist, explorer and surveyor of Australia. He was Victorian Assistant Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey from 1861 to 1874.
Robert O'Hara Burke was an Irish soldier and police officer who achieved fame as an Australian explorer. He was the leader of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, which was the first expedition to cross Australia from south to north, finding a route across the continent from the settled areas of Victoria to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The expedition party was well equipped, but Burke was not experienced in bushcraft. A Royal Commission report conducted upon the failure of the expedition was a censure of Burke's judgement.
John King was an Irish born British soldier who achieved fame as an Australian explorer. He was the sole survivor of the four men from the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition who reached the Gulf of Carpentaria. The expedition was the first to cross Australia from south to north, finding a route across the continent from Melbourne in Victoria to the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland.
Alfred William Howitt, , also known by author abbreviation A.W. Howitt, was an Australian anthropologist, explorer and naturalist. He was known for leading the Victorian Relief Expedition, which set out to establish the fate of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition.
Adrienne Elizabeth Clarke is Professor Emeritus of Botany at the University of Melbourne, where she ran the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre from 1982–1999. She is a former chairman of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, former Lieutenant Governor of Victoria (1997–2000) and former Chancellor of La Trobe University (2011–2017).
The Royal Society of South Australia (RSSA) is a learned society whose interest is in science, particularly, but not only, of South Australia. The major aim of the society is the promotion and diffusion of scientific knowledge, particularly in relation to natural sciences. The society was originally the Adelaide Philosophical Society, founded on 10 January 1853. The title "Royal" was granted by Queen Victoria in October 1880 and the society changed its name to its present name at this time. It was incorporated in 1883. It also operates under the banner Science South Australia.
Ludwig Becker was a German artist, explorer and naturalist. He was born in Rödelheim near Frankfurt am Main. He moved to Australia in 1850, and was a member of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. He died at the expedition's camp on the western bank of Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River in 1861.
The Philosophical Institute of Victoria was a scientific institute functioned in Victoria, Australia during 19th century. It was founded in 1854 through the amalgamation of the Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science and the Philosophical Society of Victoria. The first meeting of the newly amalgamated group was held on 10 July 1855 at the Museum of Natural History, chaired by a representative of the Victorian Institute, Dr J. Maund. According to the amalgamation statement, 'the objects of the Philosophical Institute shall be the same as that of the Philosophical Society, and that the mode of operation of the new Institute shall be the same as that of the old Society'. The inaugural president was the Victorian Surveyor General Captain Andrew Clark.
Frances Separovic is a biophysical chemist, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Deputy Director of the Bio21 Institute and former Head of the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne, where she taught physical chemistry and graduate students in her field. She is credited with developing a technique which utilises nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) to study peptides in aligned lipid bilayers, and has applications in the study of the structure of membrane proteins and their effects on the membrane. Her current research concerns 'the structure and interactions of amyloid peptides from Alzheimer's disease, pore-forming toxins and antibiotic peptides in model biological membranes'.
The Matthew Flinders Medal and Lecture of the Australian Academy of Science is awarded biennially to recognise exceptional research by Australian scientists in the physical sciences. Nominations can only be made by Academy Fellows.
Dr Ludwig Becker's Grave is a heritage-listed grave at Molesworth Station, by the Bulloo River, Bulloo Downs, Shire of Bulloo, Queensland, Australia. He was buried in 1861. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 5 August 1994.
The Burke, Wills, King and Yandruwandha National Heritage Place is a heritage-listed historic precinct on the Birdsville Track, Innamincka, South Australia, Australia. It was added to the Australian National Heritage List on 22 January 2016.
Dr. Hermann Beckler was a German doctor with an interest in botany. He went to Australia to collect specimen for Ferdinand von Mueller and served as medical officer and botanist for the Victoria Exploring Expedition in 1860.
David Corke is an Australian documentary film maker, naturalist and educational author. He filmed first-encounter between Europeans and the aboriginal Pintupi people, and was the first person to film the birth of a red kangaroo.