The Royal Society of Queensland is the senior learned society in the State. It issued the ﬁrst of its annual Proceedings in 1884. It traces its ancestry to the Royal Society of London, founded in 1660.
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 and scientists but is not politically aligned. Its main contemporary activities are networking between disciplinary specialists, government and the community; holding seminars crossing disciplinary and sectoral silos; and publishing the Proceedings.
The Society hosts the Queensland Science Network , a collaboration between more than 20 knowledge-based not-for-profit societies; and the Queensland Policy Network, both initiatives being at an early stage of development.
Member Dr Bill Laurance is co-author of a joint letter signed by more than 15,000 scientists warning that pressure of human population on the earth’s life support systems is placing the survival of humanity at stake.
The letter was published in BioScience on 13 November. Congratulations Dr Laurance.
If evidence were still needed that the public discourse over climate change remains nasty, shallow and unconducive to rational debate, one need only read the more than 500 comments attached to the online version of the President’s article in The Courier-Mail of Brisbane on 19 October 2017 . The vehemence of the responses and their ad hominem flavour bode poorly for the prospect of crafting robust policy in Queensland.
Member Alan Lauder has now posted thirteen columns in a series explaining how flows of carbon through pastoral ecosystems carry energy and nutrients and make them available to plants and animals. See Alan Lauder’s member’s page for details.
His columns and his earlier book Carbon Grazing are essential reading for every pastoralist and extension officer. It has important advice for those involved in the planning and implementation of the Direct Action program to sequester carbon emissions.
Since the Electricity Act 1994 was promulgated, advancing technology, the east coast National Electricity Market, emissions profiles, ownership, prices, grid reliability and intergovernmental relations have all changed extensively.
On 8 September and 20 October 2017 the Society hosted lunchtime forums featuring renewable energy expert Alan Pears AM and Dr Matt Stocks, co-author of ANU’s recent report on pumped hydro storages. Each forum was followed by a deliberative workshop co-hosted with the TJ Ryan Foundation. See the electricity page for copies of presentations and summaries.