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.
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 more than half the time, the stall was occupied to capacity. Thanks to the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist for hosting the celebration and their logistical support.
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.
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.
- 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.