The Society


Patron: Her Excellency the Honorable Frances Adamson AC Governor of South Australia and Mr Rod Bunten.

Council Positions Incumbent
Office Bearer
Past President
Prof John Long
Prof Sabine Dittmann
Vice President
Dr Wayne Harvey
Andrea Donne Stiglingh
Communications Secretary
Dr Wayne Harvey
A/Prof Trevor Worthy
Assistant Editor
Prof Craig Williams
Membership Secretary
A/Prof Luke Mosely
Programme Secretary
Dr Alice Clement
Dr Gillian Dooley
Dr Cath Kemper
Dr Peter Hudson
Dr Nick Souter
A/Prof Gunnar Keppel
Executive Officer
Dr Diana Fusco


The Royal Society of SA can be traced back to 1834 when the South Australian Literary and Scientific Association was formed in Adelphi Chambers, London. Amongst the members present were men such as Gouger, Hanson, Giles, Wakefield, Morphett, Torrens, and Hindmarsh. A library chest of books destined for the SA Literary and Scientific Association eventually arrived in South Australia, but meetings of the Association soon ceased. These books formed the basis of what was eventually to become the State Library.

On 10th Jan 1853, the Philosophical Society of Adelaide was founded for “the diffusion and advancement of the Arts and Sciences”. One of the early matters discussed was the formation of a Museum to illustrate the natural history of the Colony. By1859 the Philosophical Society was incorporated under the SA Institute Act. However it foundered to some extent until the establishment of the University of Adelaide, which apparently revitalised the Society.

In 1880, the Philosophical Society received royal patronage and became the Royal Society of SA. At the same time, its journal became the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. In 2004, the South Australian Museum and the Royal Society of South Australia became partners in Southern Scientific Press, leading to the amalgamation of their two professional journals. The Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia now incorporates the Records of the South Australian Museum.

The Transactions are currently published by Taylor and Francis and can be accessed electronically. Earlier volumes are also accessible through the Biodiversity Heritage Library.