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.
Queensland Science Network: 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 sciecnce.
Queensland Policy Network: 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.
Rangelands Dialogues: 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

Award for Outstanding Writing on Social Change

The AUD$10,000 Bruce Piasecki and Andrea Masters Award on Business and Society Writing seeks to inspire future generations to become catalysts for a better, more just society. The winner of the award will be announced in September 2022 with an award ceremony to follow.

Applicants must be between 18 and 40 years old and have published at least one work prior to the 31 August application deadline. Submissions can include essays, research papers, books and articles. Topics must be thematically consistent with positive social impact and business. Themes include, but are not limited to, climate change, racial/gender equality, sustainability, innovation, and new approaches to lessen war and social stresses.

To apply, send your published pieces (link or PDF) and a brief (1 to 2-page) working plan addressing your future writing endeavours and career plans for the next five to 10 years to  AWARDS@ahcgroup.com (also cc: rsa@scienceaustralia.org.au). Please contact rsa@scienceaustralia.org.au with any questions you may have.

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.

Call for papers and thesis abstracts, 2022 Proceedings

Papers are invited for the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland, Volume 131. Details on the Proceedings page. Short communications, student abstracts and opinion pieces are welcome, as well as conventional research articles. The 2022 edition will feature an Early Career Researcher (ECR) section to promote up-and-coming talent. Researchers are often pushed to publish in high impact journals, but regional journals are as important, despite their low profiles. Refer to the “Call” for Volume 131 for more detail.

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.

Early Career Researchers: Showcasing their work to an encouraging audience

Those who missed the first online symposium showcasing ECR scientific research of significance to Queensland missed a thoroughly interesting session. The event featured some 15 presenters, each followed by a Q&A session.

This event was free and open to the public. The dedicated webpage includes an agenda and a link to abstracts.

Research Fund grantees

At the AGM of the Society on 9 December,  two awards were made under the Society’s Research Fund, and two additional awards from a bequest provided by the family of the late Prof Trevor Clifford, Life Member.

Ms Alexandria Mattinson, for “Identification of novel peptides in Cavendish banana during fusarium wilt infection”.

Dr Tobias Smith, for “Assessing the distribution and conservation status of Australia’s rarest stingless bee, Tetragonula davenporti.

The Trevor Clifford Bequest

Dr David Nielsen, for a project “Queensland’s Gardener: Walter Hill”.

Ms Cassandra Rowe, for the “Mua Island Garden Project: Reconstructing plant management practices in Western Torres Strait”.

Further details will be published on our Research Fund webpage in due course.

Green Vouchers

Society member Dr Philippa England has drafted a proposal for a green voucher scheme that would overcome the heavy transaction costs of the market-based carbon trading schemes. Dr England presented her proposal at the Society’s AGM on 9 December 2021. Read her revised briefing note v.6 here.

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