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 and decision-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 seminars 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 24 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

SEGRA 2019 presentations now available

Member Kate Charters, Principal of Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA), has advised that the presentations from the August 2019 conference are now available. Follow this link. Some presentations are backed up by full articles. Many themes are relevant to the Society’s Rangelands Policy Dialogue initiative.

SEGRA 2020 is to be held on 22-24 September 2020 in Mt Gambier, Limestone Coast SA.

Rangelands Initiative

The Queensland Rangelands Declaration was released on 20 August 2019. This is the first documentary outcome of a two-day discussion with a difference held on 1,2 July 2019. See the Rangelands Declaration webpage for the one-page Declaration and subsequent commentary and activities.

See the Rangelands Policy Dialogue webpage for the program and briefing papers, including “Rangelands Briefs”. These briefs alone will build into a valuable snapshot of contemporary knowledge of the rangelands.

See the Stewardship incentives webpage for materials leading up to the Dialogue.

Gravestones: Publicly funded research underpins the knowledge economy

“Australia has a long and inglorious record of establishment by governments of valuable, valued and successful science-based initiatives … only to later abolish them. The results are loss of focus, loss of group knowledge, loss of expertise, loss of analytical capability, wasted effort and resources, wasted expenditure and – most of all – wasted opportunity.”

So commences a draft paper by member David Marlow. The Tables from his manuscript are available at Gravestones . Mr Marlow seeks critical comment from those who have personal knowledge of these organisations. See dedicated page for contact details.

Trevor Clifford’s work lives on

The world of science lost a true scientist and gentleman in the passing of Harold Trevor (Trevor) Clifford PhD DSc FLS FAIBiol OAM, on Saturday 4 May 2019 after a rapid and steep decline in his health.

Professor Clifford was invested as an Honorary Life Member of the Society on 24 March 2017. In his 70th year of scholarly activity, he officiated at the launch of the inaugural round of applications for the Society’s Research Fund, on 5 June 2018. He celebrated his 92nd birthday on 18 April 2019.

The President and many members  attended his funeral on 13 May at Christ Church St Lucia. It was a celebratory affair, as befits a person of such goodwill and scholarly achievements over a long period as Professor Clifford. The Society shares the family’s sense of loss of a gentleman and a scholar in the finest tradition and has assured the family that we will perpetuate his memory.

Our sadness was compounded when we heard that his wife Mrs Gillian Clifford passed away not two months later. Farewell to a couple who were a source of inspiration to an untold number of colleagues, friends and family.

Trevor Clifford’s discoveries will live on. Four of his former associates have compiled a list of his scholarly publications: it runs to more than 10 pages.

Bittersweet News

The Society’s Patron, His Excellency the Governor of Queensland, invested two new Honorary Life Members at an official reception at Government House on Thursday, 13 June 2019.

Dr Ben Lawson, former Secretary and Treasurer, and Ms Cate Melzer, Council member for 16 years, were honoured on account of their long service to the Society. We congratulate them!


But Dr Lawson, seated in the photo, passed away on 23 June. We will honour his memory.

Queensland Science Network launched

The Queensland Science Network was launched  by His Excellency the Governor of Queensland the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC at a reception at Government House on Thursday 13 June. Some 50 guests representing the societies who have joined the network heard His Excellency refer to knowledge published in the first edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland in 1884, including an opinion on whether electricity would ever overtake steam power as a source of motive energy! A copy of this first edition was on display in the room.

Origins science – Can science really discover the origin of the universe?

Aerospace engineer Phil Andrews is examining whether science possesses tools of inquiry adequate to explore all conceivable explanations of the origin of the universe. Given that it is normal practice to apply ‘Methodological Naturalism’ to ‘Origins Science’, scientists suppress any notion that what they are observing was supernaturally created.  The concept of supernatural creation is not allowed and so scientists are not free to contemplate that prospect; they must keep to natural explanations regardless of the evidence.  So they become unscientific and break the tradition of independent inquiry. See Mr Andrews’ separate page for an updated brief available for critical review. A fresh version – concluding that a new scholarly journal to publish origins science is warranted – was posted on 12 September 2019.

Leaving a legacy through philanthropy

If anything has become plain through public debate in 2018 and 2019, it has been that it is not sufficient for scientists to publish their knowledge of natural systems in scientific forums. It is also necessary to present that knowledge and its implications for public affairs into terms understood by political and policy leaders.

The Society is custodian of rich resources of knowledge within its members and its publication, but lacks the financial resources to take effective advantage of this depth of scholarship. A Prospectus or table of opportunities is available, with aspirational sums indicated. More information on the Philanthropy page.

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