The Royal Society of New South Wales

What we do

The Royal Society of New South Wales is a non-profit organisation dedicated to enriching lives through knowledge and inquiry since 1821. Throughout our history, the Society has done much to foster studies and research in science, art, literature, and philosophy through meetings, symposia, publications, and international scientific exchange, and has supported and fostered the endeavours of other organisations dedicated to the furtherance of knowledge.

Today, the Society:

  • Conducts expert lectures and presentations for the benefit of members and the general public — including monthly face-to-face and online gatherings, special events such as Ideas@theHouse in partnership with the Governor of NSW, and the annual Forum in partnership with Australia's learned academies
  • Publishes a video record of its lectures, presentations, and special events on YouTube
  • Publishes peer-reviewed research and scholarship through the Journal and Proceedings
  • Publishes the Bulletin, a monthly newsletter for members
  • Recognises excellence and achievement through the Fellowship and Distinguished Fellowship membership categories
  • Awards prestigious prizes and medals that recognise outstanding achievements in research and service
  • Liaises with other similar bodies
  • Maintains a library that is an important part of Australia's historical heritage.


The Governor of New South Wales is the Society's Vice-Regal Patron.  The Governor, jointly with the Society, convenes the Ideas@theHouse series of lectures at Government House Sydney, dedicated to the exploration of important and influential ideas.  The Governor also graciously hosts the annual Forum at Government House.


The Society has its head office in Sydney and an expanding network of branches in New South Wales.  Presently, these include a long-standing branch in the Southern Highlands, a branch in the Hunter region, established in 2019, and a branch in Western NSW established in 2021. Regular meetings are held in all locations and are well attended by members and visitors. 


Membership of the Royal Society of New South Wales is open to any person interested in the evidence-based debate on matters of significance to humanity. Society membership brings inclusion in networks of learned researchers and professionals across a wide range of disciplines and provides opportunities to advance the evolution of science and culture in Australia. Further details of membership, including the benefits, categories of membership, and how to join the Society are available on the website. 

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The Royal Society of New South Wales acknowledges the traditional custodians
of the lands on which we live and work, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present.
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