The Royal Society of Queensland is the senior learned society in the State, founded in 1884.   It traces its ancestry to the Royal Society of London, founded in 1660. Royal Societies have been established independently in every State: see link .
The Society seeks to increase respect for intellectual inquiry. It encourages original research and the application of evidence-based method to policy-making. The Society advocates on behalf of science and provides a forum for scientists and lay people to involve themselves in the progress of science in society, with ‘science’ defined broadly. The Society networks between disciplinary specialists, government and the community; holds events crossing jurisdictional and sectoral silos; and publishes the annual Proceedings, a journal of record, now in its 124th volume.
Membership: There are no educational or professional barriers to membership. The Membership page offers a portal for digital enrolment and renewal.
Queensland Science Network: The Queensland Science Network is a collaboration between some 25 not-for-profit scientific and naturalists’ societies. Its website is a portal to each group and their events.
Queensland Policy Network: The Queensland Policy Network is a nascent forum to foster dialogue within Queensland’s policy community. It seeks to counter ‘fake news’ and policy-making based upon ideology, preconceived positions or single-disciplinary enthusiasms.


Recent News

New annual issue of Proceedings online


The first six articles in the second edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland for 2020 have now been published online. These are available on an open-access basis free of charge, under Creative Commons conditions.

When all articles have been accepted and typeset, the volume will be sent for printing.


Publications available

Copies of Volume 125 of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland are available for purchase:

Volume 125 –The Land of Clouds Revisited: The Biodiversity and Ecology of the Eungella Rainforests – $35 plus $10 postage.

The Society will shortly be printing the following volumes and is now taking orders.

Volume 126 – Springs of the Great Artesian Basin – $50 plus $15 postage

Volume 127 – A Rangelands Dialogue: Towards a Sustainable Future – $35 plus $10 postage

Volume 128 – Regular annual issue 2020 – $35 plus $10 postage.

The table of contents of each of these printed works is or will soon be available on the Proceedings page.

Please proceed to the Purchases page to make payments.

Research Fund – Calling all citizen scientists

Applications open for Round 3

Applications are now invited for grants from the Research Fund closing at midnight on 28 November 2020, under fresh guidelines. The new 2020 Funding Policy encourages applications from citizen science groups. However, to comply with taxation law, applicants will still be required to gain endorsement from a research institution.

Applications should be addressed to The Secretary and emailed to rsocqld@gmail.com. Do not send applications to the Society’s postal box.

History on display – National Science Week

Some of the early history of the Society has been placed on display in a blog post by the State Library of Queensland as part of its National Science Week program in August 2020.

Silvester Diggles, one of the founders of the Queensland Philosophical Society (member number 3), is featured in the blog post. One of Silvester’s descendants, marine scientist Dr Ben Diggles, is an active and prominent current member of the Society.

A Rangelands Dialogue: Towards a Sustainable Future – now published

Photo: Sculpture in the Desert by pastoralist Margaret House.

Look ahead of the whimsy in this new Special Issue of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland. There are 26 serious papers – from pastoralists, scientists and policy specialists knowledgeable about the native pastures of Queensland’s inland. These are Short Communications and Opinion Pieces, capturing insights on a wide range of issues at a time when financial and environmental distress suggest that ‘business as usual’ is not an adequate strategy for this proportion – some three-quarters – of the State’s land area.

The Special Issue, known as Volume 127, is now published and available online free of charge under Creative Commons conditions.

The papers derive from the July 2019 Rangelands Policy Dialogue – see our Rural Policy Initiative web pages for more information.

A new webpage www.rangelandsqld.org.au has been established to accommodate materials after September 2020.

Native vegetation management

In April 2020 Members Philippa England and Nelson Quinn of Griffith University’s Law School trialled an online survey with a small number of stakeholders interested in the operation of Queensland’s Vegetation Management Act. Respondents were mostly current or previous landholders but other interested persons were invited to respond as well. Respondents were asked to comment on the following topics:

  • Mapping
  • Impact on land management
  • Authorised clearing activities including the codes
  • Area management plans
  • Economic impacts
  • Conservation areas on your land
  • Other comments; and comparisons with New South Wales.

 A Discussion Paper has been published.

Conservation covenants

Members Philippa England and Nelson Quinn of Griffith University’s Law School are undertaking project-driven research on the operation of the Vegetation Management Act in Queensland. The project aims to identify opportunities for incremental improvements to the legislation with a view to modernising its approach and aligning its goals and functions with ongoing developments in, for instance, markets for natural capital and ecosystem services. Pursuant to this research, they have compiled a table of some existing voluntary programs and schemes which support private landholders who wish to dedicate or manage some of their land for conservation purposes. The information is limited to key programs operating in Queensland, New South Wales and at the Commonwealth level. A good source of additional information, covering all Australian jurisdictions, is Australia’s Nature Hub . This platform provides an online hub for funding programs and schemes of interest.

Planning in Queensland

Member Dr Philippa England has published a new edition of her landmark book Planning in Queensland: Law, Policy and Practice with Amy McInerney.

The book takes a fresh look at the operation of planning law in Queensland, incorporating insights based on current debates and reforms to the relevant law. As with its predecessors, this new text explains the main features of Queensland’s principal planning statute, now the Planning Act 2016, and brings the features of this highly technical statute to life with a variety of case studies drawn from planning documents and legal sources. More details on the publisher’s website.


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