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.

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, which went live on 18 June 2018 but is at an early stage of development, will serve as a portal to each participating group and to a calendar of forthcoming events. The Network has a Facebook page under construction. The domain www.scienceqld.org.au is a registered address of the Society and complements the Queensland Government’s science site, www.des.qld.gov.au/science/ .


Recent News

Citizen science forum

Three members of the Royal Society of Queensland delivered presentations at the forum “Citizen Science: Challenges and Benefits for Biodiversity Conservation” held on 11 August 2018 by western suburbs-based The Hut Environmental and Conservation Association.

Keynote speaker was Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe AO, who spoke on “The role of citizen science in modern Australia“.


Maggie Muurmans described the work of Beachcare, a collaboration with Gold Coast City Council; and other programs of the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management .

President Dr Geoff Edwards introduced the Queensland Science Network, which offers a platform for publishing citizen science data and reports that are not destined for peer-reviewed publication in a scholarly journal.

The disadvantage of youth

Can teenagers reasonably be held accountable for their actions? If their mothers drank alcohol during the first trimester, possibly even before they knew they were pregnant, they may be suffering from lifelong, irreversible cognitive impairment.

Truly humans are not all born equal. Keynote speaker Dr Malcolm McDonald at the Society’s lunchtime forum on 9 August 2018 explained the metabolic pathway by which our life trajectory may be set while we are still in the womb. This revelation offers an explanation for juvenile delinquency very different from moral failure – and solutions very different from incarceration. Foetal alcohol brain injury is “100% preventable”. See our Community Health page for Dr McDonald’s paper and more details. The page now includes notes of the presentations and discussion.

September 2018 is International FASD (foetal alcohol spectrum disorder) Awareness Month. Those interested in learning more after Dr McDonald’s challenge should note a lunch and seminar to be held on 7 September at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital South Brisbane.

Australian land snails – new book

Member Dr John Stanisic and co-authors have just released Volume 2 of a three-part catalogue of the land snails of Australia.

This 595-page volume in full colour covers 756 species from an area extending from western Queensland across to Western Australia, and north and south. There are more than 2000 colour images as well as descriptions, distribution maps, key localities and notes about habitat. Most species are illustrated  for the first time in colour.

The book complements Australian land snails Volume 1: A field guide to eastern Australian species 2010.

More details on members’ Products, projects and skills page. Copies are available from the Australian Museum, Sydney.

Carbon video – Soils for Life

Member Alan Lauder, “The Carbon Expert”, features in a video that has had 2,500 views on one day. Check the Facebook site of Soils for Life:

www.facebook.com/SoilsforLife/videos/1837663936256809/ .

Corinne Unger honoured

Member Corinne Unger was among a  list of distinguished contributors to the minerals industry recognised in the 2018 Awards of AusIMM (Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy).

Ms Unger won the award for AusIMM Professional Excellence. She was nominated by the Community and Environment Society of AusIMM for various committee roles and for policy advocacy on mine rehabilitation and closure and abandoned mines over the years. She was previously the inaugural chair of the Society’s Committee.

The photo shows Ms Unger receiving her award presented at the AusIMM Annual Awards Dinner on 21 April 2018 in Adelaide.

She is progressively populating a page on our website with documents on mine remediation: http://www.royalsocietyqld.org/mine-rehabilitation/.

Spiders book re-published

Society member Robert Whyte has just signed off on the artwork for the third printing of his A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, CSIRO Publishing 2017, with Greg Anderson co-author. The first printing sold out in under four weeks. This third printing contains about 50 updates, mostly taxonomical changes since 1 June 2018.

A short foreword by Tim Low is followed by an entertaining  preface and a general preamble covering elements of diversity, history, anatomy, biology and shortcuts to identifying spider groups.

Please visit our Products, projects and skills page for details.


Stewardship incentives for the pastoral lands

A Discussion Paper From Red to Black to Green has been released (20 June 2018) (3MB). All those interested in the management of Queensland’s pastoral zone are invited to turn to our Stewardship page for this report and supporting documents; and then turn to the Stewardship Responses page for feedback received to date. The paper outlines a proposal for a “stewardship incentives scheme” and offers a policy framework for the Land Restoration Fund announced during the 2017 State election.

The Discussion Paper is a submission to the Society and does not necessarily represent the Society’s policy.

Photo above at Idalia, courtesy Alan Lauder, author of the carbon grazing model of pasture management.

Proceedings 122

The 122nd annual edition of this venerable journal is now available for purchase. Articles this year:

Frederick Strange, naturalist – Pat Comben
Propagation of rock oysters – Ben Diggles
Building science into policy – Geoff Edwards
Decline of native flora for bees – Don Keith
Lungfish endangered – Anne Kemp
Monitoring of mine rehabilitation – David Marlow
Masterplan of Brisbane – Nedjima Mouhoubi et al
Environmental studies at Griffith – Calvin Rose et al.

Copies are available from the Secretary ($35, PO Box 6021 St Lucia 4067) or per article from our agent Informit. Members receive a print copy free of charge.

View all Royal Society News