The Royal Society of Queensland is the senior learned society in the State. It traces its ancestry to the Royal Society of London, founded in 1660. It issued the ﬁrst annual Proceedings in 1884.
The Society seeks to increase awareness of and respect for intellectual inquiry in Queensland. It encourages original scholarly research and the application of scientiﬁc knowledge and evidence-based method to policy-making and decision-making. The Society provides a forum for scientists and lay people to involve themselves in the progress of science in society, with ‘science’ defined broadly.
The Society advocates on behalf of science but is not politically aligned. It networks between disciplinary specialists, government and the community; holds seminars crossing disciplinary and sectoral silos; and publishes the annual Proceedings. It hosts the Queensland Policy Network, an initiative at an early stage of development.
Membership: There are no educational or professional barriers to membership. Please visit the Membership page for digital enrolment and membership renewal.
Philanthropy: Those who enjoy financial comfort are warmly encouraged to support the Society’s public-spirited activities in a field of their choosing. Please visit the Philanthropy page for opportunities.
Queensland Science Network
The Queensland Science Network , hosted by the Royal Society of Queensland, is a collaboration between more than 20 not-for-profit scientific societies. Its website, though at an early stage of development, is intended to serve as a portal to each participating group and to a calendar of forthcoming events. The Network has a Facebook page under construction. The site complements the Queensland Government’s science site, www.des.qld.gov.au/science/ . The website for the Network, www.scienceqld.org.au, will be officially launched in 2019.
The third limb of the Society’s project to identify the preconditions of human well-being will focus on health in remote and Indigenous communities. How do biophysical factors such as nutrition, exercise and childhood exposure to toxins interact with sociological factors such as family upbringing, schooling and societal norms?
For example, does poor diet – difficult to avoid in remote settlements – lead to poor life skills, or does causation run the other way? Which conditions for healthy living are essential and which are derivative? Is it even possible to answer these questions? Come along and contribute to a free discussion that aims to cross silos between expert disciplines, government jurisdictions and professional sectors. See events box on right.
From Arnhem Land Expedition 1948 to 2018 – A life’s work
With editorial assistance from member Dr David Doley, Life Member Prof Ray Specht has compiled Ray Specht – A Retrospective including a bibliography of some of his published work – more than 220 citations! This overview is a thoroughly fascinating chronology of 70 years of curiosity-led investigation – a history, a memoir, an encapsulation of an immense volume of botanical scholarship, and an index to a lifetime of public interest research, all wrapped into one readable paper. Teachers: use this paper to inspire your students into a scientific vocation.
- Alex Jiang, University of Queensland, for an investigation of koala-cattle interactions.
- Chapa Gimhani Manwaduge, Queensland University of Technology, on the conservation biology of threatened native olives (Notolaea), southern Queensland.
Congratulations to both! More information on the Research Fund page.
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 must 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 more on Mr Andrews’ separate page.
Students and others seeking voluntary pre-career experience are invited to contact the Society on email@example.com. Opportunities are potentially available in:
- website management
- marketing and public relations
- scientific inquiry beyond the laboratory
- bridging science and policy
- writing educational materials
The Society has suitable professional indemnity insurance. Candidates would be mentored by an experienced member of Queensland’s oldest learned society.
If Wales can pass legislation which requires public bodies to consider the long-term social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being of the Welsh people in all of their decision-making, could it work in Queensland? Member David Marlow, systems analyst and futurist, posed this question to the AGM on 29 November 2018. See Mr Marlow’s explanation on his separate Members’ Collection page.
Member Prof Bill Laurance has recently published an editorial in Nature on the damage being caused by infrastructure in developing countries, notably in Amazonia and by China’s Belt and Road initiative of more than 7000 projects. Nature has granted permission to the Society to republish this article through the following link:
Member Prof Sean Ulm of James Cook University has just been appointed as Distinguished Professor. The Vice-Chancellor has advised:
“James Cook University confers the title of Distinguished Professor upon professors of exceptional distinction. To be eligible … an individual must have an international reputation for exceptional research and scholarship and enjoy professional peer recognition for their significant achievements at a state, national and international level. Sean joins those who have previously been conferred with the title as an exemplar of the inestimable contribution that truly dedicated research academics make through their important work.”
With this honour Prof Ulm joins just 13 other scholars from the University – including member Prof Bill Laurance. Congratulations Prof Ulm!