The Society exists to advance knowledge and to communicate it in the Society’s publications and other media. The Society encourages researchers and leaders to present the outcomes of their investigations at the meetings, forums, conferences and other events organised by the Society. It provides a forum for the expression and transmission of ideas.

The Society upholds the principles of liberal democracy and encourages a non-discriminatory discourse and the free exchange of ideas that respect religious, political, and cultural freedoms, seeing these as fundamental to Australian intellectual life.


The Society subscribes to the following ideals:

  • Commitment to advancing the best interests of society: advancing knowledge and understanding for a more just, sustainable, and secure society.
  • A questioning spirit: supporting the principles of freedom of thought and speech, and the scientific method of inquiry.
  • Diverse and inclusive engagement: embracing and including individual differences and contributions to our collective success and social
  • Boldness and innovation: acting with courage to address issues of the day, take calculated risks, and to innovate as modern technologies
    expand ways to communicate.
  • Good governance: organisational practices that are ethical, expert, inclusive, respectful, courteous, consultative, participatory, accountable, and sustainable.

Diversity and Inclusion Policy

In line with the Society's values, and in support of these principles, the Council, in January 2020, adopted its initial Diversity and Inclusion Policy. The policy has been framed with the recognition that the Society will become a more effective public intellectual voice by comprehensively embracing diversity and inclusion in all of its activities. The policy and its implementation are considered annually by the Council annually, updated as required, with implementation progress being reported to the membership twice a year. 

Recent Position Statements

From time to time, consistent with its role as an independent, non-political body, the Royal Society of NSW issues position statements and media releases on matters of public interest and concern.

The Bushfire Emergency and Climate Change: Statement from the RSNSW President (29 January 2020)

Uluru Statement of the Heart: Statement of Support from the Royal Society of NSW (January 2018)

Recent Media Releases

 Downplaying the Arts (9 December 2019)

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