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Five ways membership supports the Society

We are a learned society, professional body, and importantly, a charity. We are also a membership organisation, and our Fellows and Members are essential in enabling our work championing and advancing geography. Their support enriches how our planet’s people, places and environments are understood across education, policy, research, fieldwork, expeditions and so much more.

Here are five examples of the impact that our members have on the Society’s work.


1. Caring for our Collections

Membership subscriptions contribute towards our work to care for, interpret and grow our Collections. The Society cares for over two million items including maps, photographs, artworks and artefacts. Together they provide an unparalleled resource tracing 500 years of geographical discovery and research.

Members can see the results of their support with free access to consult and research the Collections through the Foyle Reading Room as well as a vibrant events programme which explores stories from our Collections.

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2. Providing accessible learning resources

The support of our members allows the Society to produce and share award-winning educational resources with schools for free. These resources contribute towards the Society’s key aim to empower and support geographers in the gaining and sharing of geographical knowledge, as well as helping young people achieve their full potential.

Browse our educational resources.

While the majority of our resources are accessible to all, a selection of member-only resources are also available to School and Student Members.

An audience on students of mixed gender and ethnicity listening to a presentation, some are smiling or laughing.

3. Advocating for geography

Geographical information and research has never been more relevant to policy decisions on issues ranging from managing flood risk and water security to emergency planning and response. Thanks to the support and engagement of our members, the Society is a leading advocate and influential voice for geography in the UK.

We share advances in geographical knowledge with policymakers by making it accessible and engaging to non-specialists. The Society's case studies and policy briefings showcase geographical knowledge, while our meetings and events bring geographers, policymakers and other professionals together to share perspectives.

Browse our work.

Audience of mixed gender, age and ethnicity sitting in a lecture theatre looking thoughtful while watching a presentation.
© Rob Johns

4. Sharing new research

The Society is at the forefront of sharing geographical knowledge and understanding. We bring together researchers, facilitate knowledge exchange and provide support through networks, advice, resources, and funding – all ensuring that geography delivers on its potential to benefit society as a whole.

Through our conferences, journals, books, and research groups, our members contribute to making the Society one of the most active learned societies worldwide.

Person with shoulder length grey hair and backpack standing in front of a bookcase browsing journals and books from RGS-IBG publications.
© Nando Machado

5. Engaging public audiences

The Society connects geography and public audiences through events, exhibitions, guided walks and digital media, sharing enriching knowledge and inspiring stories to raise awareness of the relevance of geography to our lives.

Many of our 400 public events each year are organised by members in regional committees, using their expertise and networks to bring a breadth of speakers across the range of geography to the public.

Browse our public events.

Three men sit in red chairs on the stage of a lecture theatre having a discussion with the image of a globe above them on a screen. The back of the heads of the audience can be seen in the foreground.
© Nando Machado