The Royal Society of Queensland, founded in 1884, is the senior learned society in the State.   The Society seeks to increase respect for intellectual inquiry and evidence-led policy analysis. 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 networks between disciplinary specialists, government and the community; holds events crossing jurisdictional and sectoral silos; and publishes the annual Proceedings, the pre-eminent journal of Queensland-focused general science, now in its 131st volume. More information on the About page. There are no educational or professional barriers to membership.
The Queensland Science Network is a collaboration between ~26 not-for-profit scientific and naturalists’ societies. Its website is a portal to each group and to general science. It includes a portal into the Queensland STEM Education Network, a compendium of educational materials.
The Queensland Policy Network is a nascent forum to foster discourse in Queensland’s policy community. It will aim to counter ‘fake news’ and policy-making based upon preconceived ideology or single-disciplinary enthusiasms.
The Rangelands Queensland website was established to accommodate materials generated after September 2020 in the course of the Rangelands Policy Dialogue, otherwise recorded on this website.


Recent News

Walter Fisher Grants for Mycology Research – now open

The Society is pleased to announce a grant or grants of up to $20,000 for research into microscopic or macroscopic fungi. The grants honour Queenslander Walter Fisher whose career focused on yeasts. Please distribute the attached flyer to colleagues who may be interested. An application form and other details are available on the Research Fund page. Applications close on 5 March 2023.

Purchases page temporarily out of action

To purchase copies of the Proceedings, please see Contact page. The Purchases page will be restructured when our Webmaster returns to duty.

Proceedings 131 complete

The 131st issue of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland has been completed and is ready for dispatch to a printer. The full text is available free of charge online. The Society has been able to continue to offer free open access without shifting charges onto authors through the generosity of benefactors. Printed copies can be ordered from our Purchases page https://www.royalsocietyqld.org/purchases/.

There are nine scientific articles and seven abstracts from early career researchers of work in progress. Rounded out with a citation and career retrospective for the latest Life Member Professor Emeritus Angela Arthington and Dr Ross Hynes‘s Presidential Address reflecting on the current condition of science. At 206 pages, it’s a bumper read.

Coal seam gas alarm raised

The irreversible damage that mining for coal seam gas can wreak on cropping land through subsidence was a highlight of a scientific paper published by four members of The Royal Society of Queensland in its 2022 annual Proceedings. Lead author was Assoc. Professor Peter Dart of the University of Queensland.

Dr Dart issued a press release in late September. The ABC gave an account of this threat in a news piece published on 8 October 2022 and Queensland Country Life on 11 October.

Call for papers and thesis abstracts, 2023 Proceedings

Papers are invited for the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland, Volume 132. Details on the Proceedings page. Short communications, student abstracts and opinion pieces are welcome, as well as conventional research articles. The 2022 edition featured an Early Career Researcher (ECR) section to promote up-and-coming talent and the Society will be very pleased to include short communications from ECRs in the 2023 edition. Researchers are often pushed to publish in high impact journals, but regional journals are as important, despite their low profiles. Articles are published online as soon as they have been accepted and typeset, but to reach the 2023 print edition, manuscripts should be submitted to the Honorary Editor by 1 July 2023. Send to Assoc. Prof. Julien Louys, editor AT royalsocietyqld.org.au.

New Life Member, Em. Prof. Angela Arthington

On 18 June 2022, Emeritus Professor Angela Arthington accepted Council’s offer of Honorary Life Membership. Life Membership can be conferred either for outstanding service to the Society or for significant eminence in scholarship. Prof. Arthington eminently qualifies on both counts. Not content with having edited the landmark A Place of Sandhills, volume 117 of our Proceedings – a Special Issue on the sand islands – she took on the role of coordinating editor for volume 126, the Special Issue on the Springs of the Great Artesian Basin and negotiated sponsorship sufficient to print copies. At the same time she edited volume 128, the regular annual issue and also served on the Council.

And that doesn’t even encompass adequately just the service to the Society in just a few short recent years. An account of her eminence in ecological science will be published in due course but it will cover a career-long list of achievements.

Congratulations, Prof Arthington. You’ve demonstrated that there is no such thing as retirement for an active mind!


On 3 May 2022 Council member Col Lynam presented on the current state of seismology in Queensland and introduced a recently-published database covering more than 50 years of seismic events. The database – of seismic events from 1866 to 2007 – is available on the website of the Queensland Science Network.

Boomerangs and stone tools – Eva Martellotta

Archaeologist Eva Martellotta has been investigating the use of hardwood boomerangs to modify the edges of stone tools. An analysis of ethnographic reports over the past 170 years has revealed that Australian Aboriginal communities were using boomerangs to modify the edges (thus, the function) of stone tools. An experiment using replicas of both boomerangs and stone tools left some peculiar use marks on the surfaces of the boomerangs. Those marks are comparable with the ones identified on the boomerangs coming from the collection in the Australian Museum. Anyone with knowledge in this or a related field is encouraged to contact Ms Martellotta. See her Member’s Interests page.

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Last updated 21 December 2022