Members’ Collections and Interests
Material on this page and its sub-pages showcases curiosity-led investigations by members of the Society in their scholarly capacities. The page has been moderated but the information presented does not necessarily represent the Society’s policy and has not necessarily been peer-reviewed.
Phil Andrews – Origins science – Can science really discover the origin of the universe?
Aerospace engineer and member Phil Andrews is embarking on a curiosity-led investigation into 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, regardless of the evidence. The concept of supernatural creation is not allowed and so scientists and science journals are not free to contemplate if something was supernaturally created, they must keep to natural explanations regardless of the evidence. In so doing they become unscientific and break the tradition of independent inquiry. See more on Mr Andrews’ separate page.
David Marlow – The well-being legislation of Wales
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, why can’t Queensland? Member David Marlow, systems analyst and futurist, posed this question to the Society’s AGM on 29 November 2018. His powerpoint and accompanying notes are available on his separate page.
David Marlow – Gravestones: The Destruction of Scientific Capacity
“Australia has a long and inglorious record of establishment by governments of valuable, valued and successful science-based initiatives … that address issues of major continuing importance, only to later abolish them. The results are loss of focus, loss of group knowledge, loss of expertise, loss of analytical capability, wasted effort and resources, wasted expenditure and – most of all – wasted opportunity.” See separate page for details.
Brisbane Knowledge Corridor – Route 66 Project
Brisbane’s Knowledge Corridor was conceived by the Smart State Council in 2007 in their Smart Cities: rethinking the city centre report as a corridor that connects most of Brisbane’s science, arts and cultural precincts and has most recently been presented as part of the rationale in the Inner City South State Secondary College Precinct Selection Report (2018).
The Brisbane Knowledge Corridor – Route 66 project (conceived by member Andy Grodecki) is an opportunity to build on Brisbane’s profile and to embed the notion of the Brisbane Knowledge Corridor as an iconic part of the cultural infrastructure of the city. The project aims to help make Brisbane the world’s most visited science-art-culture destination, providing an enduring new cultural institution.
Please see separate page for more information and a concept outline.
Paul Sattler OAM: “A Conservation Memoir”
Paul is a biologist and former President of the Royal Society. His published 219-page work Five Million Hectares: A Conservation Memoir is available online here (11.5MB). The work is a highly readable and informative story of the author’s professional journey and, in particular, the major expansion of Queensland’s national park estate, particularly in the 1990s. The memoir is recommended reading for any scientist or policy officer involved in biodiversity conservation, ecosystem mapping and, indeed, nature conservation generally – as well as those looking for insight into political and bureaucratic events within the nature conservation sector during the period. The Society is delighted to be able to make this landmark report available to an international audience through this website and to publish a summary in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland vol. 119. The Society also published his address in accepting the 2015 Gatton College Gold Medal – see Proceedings volume 121.
Paul Sattler updated the memoir in May 2018 – the version available here.
Former Minister Pat Comben has written an appreciative review in The Courier-Mail.
Alan Lauder: Carbon Stocks and Flows
Carbon grazing refers to management of pastoral land in a way that maximises carbon flows. Carbon flows at different speeds through ecosystems, including through livestock. An understanding of this principle changes one’s approach to land management. Graziers need to be harvesting only the surplus, not the means by which a usable surplus is generated. They should harvest what resides above ground after adequate carbon has flowed to all parts of the landscape, such as after rain. This approach will ensure future animal production and ongoing environmental resilience.
Alan’s pioneering insights into the management of pastoral landscapes by timing – dynamic management of carbon production – are explained in a series of >35 easy-to-read columns, along with his book Carbon Grazing, an update and other explanatory material. All are published on the Carbon Stocks and Flows page of this site.
Dr Bill Laurance
Dr Bill Laurance, Director of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science (TESS) based at James Cook University, in an article published in The Conversation, “The world’s forests will collapse if we don’t learn to say ‘no’”, has drawn attention to the ongoing destruction of the world’s forests.
In early November 2018 Prof Bill Laurance 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 .
Corinne Unger: Mine rehabilitation
Corinne Unger is a Churchill Fellow and an international expert on mine rehabilitation and closure planning, abandoned mine management and post-mining land use.
After a distinguished career within the public service, she has taken up study for a doctorate at the University of Queensland. She reports that there is a growing interest in the closure of operating mines and the rehabilitation of abandoned mines in Australia and Queensland. A collection of her publications and other related material appears on a separate page.
Ray Specht – 70 years of active research
Prof Specht celebrated fifty years as a Member of the Royal Society of Queensland in 2017. In 2018 he is still drafting manuscripts, marking a career of seventy years of active research.
Please refer to Ray Specht – Retrospective page for more insights into his remarkable career and a forthcoming bibliography of some of his published work.
Members are invited to contact the President or Webmaster to lodge documents on this page.