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.

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.


Recent News

Ray Specht – 70 years of curiosity

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.

Inaugural grants from Research Fund announced

At the Society’s AGM on 29 November 2018, the winners of the inaugural awards from the Research Fund were announced by Emeritus Prof. Calvin Rose AM, Life Member:

  • 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.

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 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.

Work experience available

Students and others seeking voluntary pre-career experience are invited to contact the Society on rsocqld@gmail.com. Opportunities are potentially available in:

  • website management
  • marketing and public relations
  • scientific inquiry beyond the laboratory
  • bridging science and policy
  • submission-writing
  • journalism
  • writing educational materials
  • philanthropy.

The Society has suitable professional indemnity insurance. Candidates would be mentored by an experienced member of Queensland’s oldest learned society.

Well-being legislation for Queensland?

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.

Greenwashing infrastructure

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:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07348-3 .

Professor Sean Ulm honoured

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!

Springs of the Great Artesian Basin – Special Issue of the Proceedings

The Society has a long tradition  of publishing special themed issues. The Society intends to publish a Special Issue of its Proceedings on Springs of the Great Artesian Basin in late 2019.  This publication is intended to capture articles ranging from historic and contemporary narratives, indigenous perspectives, scientific papers (geohydrology, ecology, management and conservation), thesis abstracts and opinion pieces, up to about 30 items. The unique nature of a Special Issue, presented by Queensland’s oldest scientific institution, provides an opportunity to be creative and reflective, and to write in styles beyond the standard scientific format.

Please send ideas and author details to Lead Editor Dr Rene Rossini. Submissions close in April 2019. Proposed themes are explained on the Proceedings page.

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