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. Royal Societies have been established independently in every State: see the website of the Royal Societies of Australia for links.
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. 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 on 13 June 2019.
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 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 15 May 2019.
The Society invites authors, including students, to submit manuscripts or dissertation abstracts for any of three forthcoming issues of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland:
General science – standard annual issue, manuscript deadline 1 July 2019; deadline for abstracts of student dissertations, 1 September 2019. See the Call for Papers for the contact details of the Honorary Editor.
Preventative health – Special Issue, focused on the preconditions of well-being and the preconditions of chronic disease and ill-health. This is an opportunity for practitioners to publish observations on what works and doesn’t work in public health and clinical practice.
Springs of the Great Artesian Basin – Special Issue, crossing all scholarly disciplines, theory and practice, science and governance.
The manuscript deadlines for the two Special Issues have passed, but the Editors remain willing to hear from authors who have a paper that is potentially suitable. See the Proceedings page for contact details of the Honorary Editors.
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.
Crowds of people visited the Society’s stall at the World Science Festival celebration at Southbank on 23 and 24 March 219. Practical demonstrations of gravity, the solar system and a cyclone attracted children while adults took advantage of the “Ask a scientist” table. For much of the time on the Saturday, the stall was occupied to capacity. Thanks to the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist for hosting the celebration and their logistical support.
The Society has been unsuccessful in contacting two people who left their contact details on the day – David and Kaylah. These two – and any other member of the public who would like to join a network of enthusiastic scientists and naturalists – are warmly invited to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2018 edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland has now been published. Thanks to Dr Barry Pollock, recently retired Honorary Editor for sterling work in producing his fourth edition; and thanks to the authors and reviewers for their scholarship.
Print copies have been sent free of charge to financial members. Articles can be purchased from the Society’s agent Informit online.
Feasible paths: How to implement solutions to problems
Colonisation by springtails of Great Barrier Reef islands
Recovery of reptile, amphibian and mammal assemblages in post-mining landscapes
Box mistletoe within the crown of urban gum trees
A revision of Terebellum delicatum (Gastropoda)
The uncatalogued Townsville earthquake of 1879
A stewardship incentives scheme for Queensland’s pastoral lands
A field guide to spiders of Australia
Obituary Dr HWB (Don) Eastwell
The third limb of the Society’s project to identify the preconditions of human health has been focusing 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? A free discussion that aims to cross silos between expert disciplines, government jurisdictions and professional sectors was completed on 20 February 2019. See dedicated page under “Resources, Initiatives” tabs for materials.
“We argue for a refocusing of the species debate on criteria rather than concept, thereby highlighting the real with the context of the hypothetical nature of species”, writes Member Stephen Maxwell and co-authors. Their draft paper is available for critical review until at least 28 February 2019. Please read the disclaimers before commenting. All comments to lead author.
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.