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 132st 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

Prevention or patch-up?

The first article in our series on the preconditions of well-being has been published in The Mandarin online newsletter, on 28 February 2024. Read the article here. Consult our community health page for more details, including the context.

Geraldine Hall Memorial Prize – Awarded to Dr Wendy Laupu

The Society is delighted to announce that Dr Wendy Laupu has been awarded the Geraldine Hall Memorial Prize for writing, with an essay on the theme “Updated Mental Health Literacy to Improve Public Health in Remote Australian Communities”. More details on the Research Fund page. Dr Laupu will deliver a lecture on this theme on Norfolk Island, home of the late Geraldine Hall, Pharmacist, on 1 May 2024. Her paper will be published in the 2024 issue of the Society’s Proceedings, volume 134.

Vale Professor Peter Leggat

Emeritus Professor Peter Leggat was a member in good standing Society and prime organiser  of 2016 workshop at the Cairns Institute on Community Health that initiated its Preconditions of Well-being project. We re-publish this obituary Vale Emeritus Professor Peter Leggat – JCU Australia from the James Cook University website.

Prof. Leggat also organised prizes for science students at JCU. The Society is grateful for his service to science, medicine and public policy through his membership.

Planning for Climate Change: Seminar 21 October 2023

As a teaser for this workshop, browse through this powerpoint: An Analysis of the Land-New System in Queensland, Multiple Problems and the Benefits of Constructive Reform (pdf version) by Society member David Marlow, sponsor of the workshop.

(ppt version)

Coal seam gas and agricultural land

Member Dr David George presented at a significant community event at “Glendon”, Nangwee, Queensland 4407 on 26 August. He has supplied the attached Executive Summary of the discussion. The paper concludes by calling for federal intervention to protect good quality food-producing land, because in administering mining and gas leases, the Queensland Government has failed in its custodianship responsibilities .


Seminar 21 October- Planning and climate change

The Society held a face-to-face (plus online) seminar on Saturday 21 October on the theme:

“Are Queensland’s urban and regional planning regimes fit for purpose, given climate change, given the vulnerability of many residential developments to natural disasters, and given relentless environmental deterioration?”

We aim to produce an “Action Plan” in collaboration with SEQ Community Alliance. See the website of the Alliance.

See flyer for this event for more details. Background readings including the President’s introduction are accessible on the dedicated page.

Papers are now invited on this theme, to be published in volume 133 of our Proceedings and to be eligible for the David Marlow Writing Prize (if received before 31 December). See the dedicated page for further details.


David Marlow Writing Prize

“Given climate change, how can Queensland’s planning systems be rendered fit for purpose?”

Society member David Marlow donated a purse of $1000 for the most meritorious original paper on this subject. Submissions closed on 31 December 2023 and are now being assessed by a panel of experts. The winner will receive $1000. All articles that survive peer review can be submitted for publication in Special Issue 133 of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland. Guidelines for the Proceedings have been posted on https://www.royalsocietyqld.org/proceedings-133/

Coal seam gas defects recognised

A scientific paper authored by four members of The Royal Society of Queensland has attracted considerable media attention. After peer review, the paper was published in Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland volume 131, at the end of 2022.

The paper, by Dart, Lynam, Pointon and Edwards concludes that:

“The performance-based statutory regime (which does not envisage refusal of  pplications and does not adequately monitor performance), the fragmentation of accountability across multiple authorities, the absence of any systematic resolution of landholders’ concerns over many years and the statement in 2021 by the Acting Director-General of the Department that companies, not the regulator, are responsible for gaining the community’s trust, are all evidence that the Queensland Government conceives of its role simply as facilitating this problematic industry and that the ‘public interest’ which the electorate appoints it to protect has no dimensions other than the narrow one of gas production”.

Online newspaper InQueensland published extracts from this paper in an article by John McCarthy on 1 August 2023, titled “On shaky ground: 10 years on, fight over CSG, water and farmland ramping up“. Further information on https://www.royalsocietyqld.org/coal-seam-gas/. Journalist McCarthy’s article quotes extensively from the scientific paper but it is disappointing that the paper is credited to the University of Queensland rather than the Society or the authors.

The concerns expressed by the authors and their informants in the rural community and the scientific community are not new but have been aired for two decades and more. It is beyond disappointing that the Queensland Government blithely continues to issue new leases for this highly problematic industry.

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