Royal Society of Victoria

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The Royal Society of Victoria headquarters.

The Royal Society of Victoria is the oldest learned society in the state of Victoria in Australia.

The Royal Society of Victoria (RSV) was formed in 1854 as The Philosophical Institute of Victoria from a merger between The Philosophical Society of Victoria (inaugural president Captain Andrew Clarke) and The Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science (inaugural president Justice Sir Redmond Barry), both founded independently earlier in 1854 and found to be serving similar aims and membership. The Philosophical Institute received Royal Charter in 1859, and the first president of the freshly renamed Royal Society of Victoria was Dr Ferdinand Mueller (later Baron Sir Ferdinand von Mueller), then Victoria's Government Botanist. In 1860 the RSV organised the Burke and Wills expedition.

The Society has played an important role in the life of Melbourne and Victoria including establishing the Melbourne Museum and National Parks, convening the first Australian Antarctic Exploration Committee in 1885, organising the Burke and Wills expedition and establishing the Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences in 1978 (now the Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute from 1996). It continues to be active with twice-monthly meetings throughout the year held in its historic headquarters at 8 La Trobe Street in the centre of Melbourne.

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