The Royal Geographical Society – Hong Kong (RGS-HK) is the Hong Kong branch of the Royal Geographical Society. RGS-HK was established in 1995.
The branch shares the same aims as the Society: it provides a forum where members can regularly meet and listen to leading local and international speakers from the world of geography and related sciences, exploration, travel, research, the environment and conservation.
Previous speakers who have spoken at RGS-HK include the polar explorers Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Robert Swan, mountaineers Sir Chris Bonington and Doug Scott, primate expert Dame Jane Goodall, the botanist Professor David Bellamy, leading environmentalist Sir Crispin Tickell, former space shuttle pilot Dr James van Hoften, moon walker Commander Dave Scott, Hong Kong explorer Wong How Man, round-the-world yachtsmen Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Chay Blythe, yachtswomen Tracy Edwards and Dame Ellen Macarthur and authors Simon Winchester, William Dalrymple, Paul French, Jan Morris and Mark Tully.
The RGS-HK holds some 65 talks each year, which normally occur on a weekday evening. Talks are usually accompanied by a powerpoint followed by a question and answer session. Most talks cost $150 for members and HK$200 for non-members. The branch also organises a Gala Dinner and an Annual Dinner involving a talk and a dinner. Moreover, RGS-HK organises several field trips in Hong Kong, holds an Annual Quiz Dinner and publishes an Annual Review.
Branch members may also use the facilities at the Society in London, including for lunch and attending lectures. The "Hong Kong Room" in the Members business centre at the Society was funded by the Hong Kong Branch, and is open for use by members.
The branch also runs a Schools Outreach Programme, through which it hosts educational events at schools throughout Hong Kong. In 2019, RGS-HK held 35 events at schools, allowing students to benefit from the speakers in the Society’s main programme. During that year, the School’s Outreach Programme reached over 5,600 students with speakers ranging from distinguished academic geographers to explorers such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Since its inception, RGS-HK has also strived to assist geographical research in the greater China region. In addition to serving as a point of contact for geographical academia interested in the region, the RGS-HK awards multiple scholarships yearly. These include a Major Post-Graduate Award and several scholarships for undergraduate and masters’ degree research.
RGS-HK has a Board which meets three or four times a year to review future speakers and decide policy matters. Elections to the Board are held once a year at its Annual General Meeting. RGS-HK’s Chairman is James Riley, Vice-Chairman is Timothy Peirson-Smith, Treasurer is James Anderson, Secretary is Julian Stargardt and the three Officers are Catherine Leonard, Julian Quail and Susie Schwittal.
The Honourary Patron of RGS-HK is Andrew Heyn, OBE, the British Consul General.
The branch is run by a Director, Rupert McCowan, and three managers: Wendy Poon, Events & Schools Outreach; Frances Chim, Membership and David Wong, Field Trips.