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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Walter Fisher Grant(s) for Mycology Research – Four awarded

The Society is pleased to announce the successful applicants for grants of >$23,000 for research into microscopic or macroscopic fungi. The grants honour Queenslander Walter Fisher whose career focused on yeasts. Details are on the Research Fund page. Understanding the […]

Proceedings 132 now published and printed

The 2023 annual volume 132 of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland has been completed and printed. Congratulations to the authors and thanks to Honorary Editor Dr Julien Louys and Associate Editor Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz.    

New access to Proceedings archive

The Biodiversity Heritage Library based in the USA in collaboration with CSIRO and the National Museum, Victoria, have reached a milestone in a project to addarticle data to both The Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland and Transactions of the Philosophical […]

Geraldine Hall Memorial Prize for writing on health in remote communities

Pharmacist Geraldine Hall, educated at the University of Queensland, took a position as Pharmacist at the public hospital on Norfolk Island in 1999. In 2006 she opened her own pharmacy business in the Island’s commercial centre and became a trusted […]

Proceedings 131 complete

The 131st issue of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland has been completed and printed. The full text is available free of charge online. The Society has been able to continue to offer free open access without shifting […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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. […]

Proceedings Volume 129 now online

Almost all articles submitted for Volume 129 of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland have now been published on line at We congratulate all authors on their scholarship. Printing is on track to be completed by the […]

Governor grants patronage

The Society is gratified that the incoming Governor of Queensland, Dr Jeannette Young PSM, has granted Royal patronage to the Society, a privilege extended by successive Governors since 1885. We express our thanks to Dr Young and look forward to […]

Office of Science Quality Assurance

On 21 October 2021, members discussed the recent advocacy for an Office of Science Quality Assurance by AgForce and other parties. There was general support for the position taken publicly by the President that scientists should oppose the establishment of […]

Ian Lowe’s Long Half-life

‘This book is a clarion call for sanity at a time when we can finally get the nuclear monkey off our back – highly recommended.’ Peter Garrett. Australia has been directly involved in the nuclear industry for more than a century, […]

Repairing the environmental deficit

On 3 September a workshop was held both in-person at Griffith Southbank and online to address many issues of contemporary salience around incentivising land restoration. In this one day workshop a panel discussed the role of markets, certification schemes and […]

NRM in the Rangelands Conference

Desert Channels Queensland and the Australian Rangeland Society hosted the NRM in the Rangelands Conference- shaping our future, 2021. Members of The Royal Society of Queensland were prominent in organising the event. Rangelands cover about 80% of the Australian interior, […]

Maintaining Queensland’s regional natural capital and ecosystem services

Sustainable Queensland Forum partnered with the Society and the Central Queensland University to run an interesting seminar in 2016. The proceedings have been rescued from the digital dungeon and are now available on the Events 2016 page of the Society’s […]

National Stewardship of Country proceedings

Presentations from the three webinars hosted by the Royal Societies of Australia in February-March 2021 have been published as Volume 133(1) of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria. For other material on the stewardship of rural country see […]

International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists

Queensland’s Dr Dana Kelly, an active participant in the Society’s Rangelands Policy Dialogue since July 2019, is President of the International Rangelands Committee, which is responsible for ensuring continuity between the international congresses. After Kenya (see side panel), the next […]

General science newsletter now free online

The Queensland Science Network, a collaboration between some 26 scientific and natural history societies, publishes a free online Newsletter on a semi-regular basis. The full set is available on the QSN website. Members of the public are warmly invited to […]

Official launch of Proceedings completed

On Tuesday 15 June His Excellency, the Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey QC officially launched the five volumes of the Society’s Proceedings published in 2020. His Excellency hosted a reception at Government House attended by members, editors and authors […]

Call for papers – Linking policy with scientific knowledge in public health

Manuscripts are invited for a Special Issue of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland dedicated to public health. There is no closing date, as manuscripts will be published as they are accepted, until a sufficient number have been […]

Farewell and thanks

On 1 March 2021, our website developers handed over this website, which they developed pro bono in 2016. The website and the publication search engine were developed and designed by Joseph Listo, Paul Listo and Skye Cornell. The site has […]

Call for papers – general science

Manuscripts are invited for annual volume 129 of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland. Closing date 31 July 2021; see Proceedings page for details.

Vale Emeritus Professor Ray Specht AO

Emeritus Professor Ray Specht AO died peacefully on the morning of Saturday 13th February after farewelling his family. To have Ray as a member for 53 years was a privilege and a blessing. The Society is proud to have published […]

Stewardship of Country webinars

Three webinars examining the meaning of “stewardship” of Australia’s landscapes were organised by the Royal Societies of Australia with Inspiring Australia on 24 Feb., 10 and 24 March. See Royal Societies of Australia website for details. Also see Facebook .

Dr Reichelt honoured

Society member Dr Russell Reichelt was honoured with Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day honours list. The citation was for “For distinguished service to marine conservation, to ecosystem management of the Great Barrier Reef, and […]

Annual edition of Proceedings now published

All articles in the second edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland for 2020, Volume 128, have now been published online. These are available on an open-access basis free of charge, under Creative Commons conditions. Printed copies […]

“Springs of the Great Artesian Basin” published

A Special Issue of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland has been published. All articles are available free of charge online at This is an outstanding work of scholarship and policy that includes scientific papers and opinion […]

Publications available

Orders are being taken for several issues of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland: Volume 125 –The Land of Clouds Revisited: The Biodiversity and Ecology of the Eungella Rainforests – $35 plus $10 postage. Volume 126 – Springs […]

Call for papers for 2022 annual Proceedings, volume 131

Papers are invited for the next annual volume of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland.  Details on the Proceedings page. Short communications, student abstracts and opinion pieces are welcome, as well as conventional research articles. This venerable journal […]

History on display – National Science Week

Some of the early history of the Society was placed on display in a blog post by the State Library of Queensland as part of its National Science Week program in August 2020. Silvester Diggles, one of the founders of […]

A Rangelands Dialogue: Towards a Sustainable Future – now published

Look ahead of the whimsy in this new Special Issue of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland. There are 26 serious papers – from pastoralists, scientists and policy specialists knowledgeable about the native pastures of Queensland’s inland. These […]

Native vegetation management

In April 2020 Members Philippa England and Nelson Quinn of Griffith University’s Law School trialled an online survey with a small number of stakeholders interested in the operation of Queensland’s Vegetation Management Act. Respondents were mostly current or previous landholders […]

Conservation covenants

Members Philippa England and Nelson Quinn of Griffith University’s Law School are undertaking project-driven research on the operation of the Vegetation Management Act in Queensland. The project aims to identify opportunities for incremental improvements to the legislation with a view […]

Planning in Queensland

Member Dr Philippa England has published a new edition of her landmark book Planning in Queensland: Law, Policy and Practice with Amy McInerney. The book takes a fresh look at the operation of planning law in Queensland, incorporating insights based […]

Proceedings 124 now published

Volume 124 of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland has been completed and printed. For the first time since the journal was launched in 1884, the annual volume has been published online with open access. Copies are available […]

Spanish exploration of northern Australia – Steve Hutcheon

The curiosity of Member Steve Hutcheon – who has an eclectic interest in Queensland’s early explorers and naturalists – was recently piqued upon learning of a letter by one J.E. Richter in The Sydney Morning Herald of 22 June 1872, […]

Eungella rainforests – Themed Proceedings now available

  The Land of Clouds Revisited – a Special Issue of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland has been published on the biology and ecology of the rainforests of the Eungella area inland from Mackay. Further details are […]

Ray Specht honoured

The Society is delighted that Life Member Prof Ray Specht has been honoured in the Australia Day awards with the title of Order of Australia. The official citation catalogues some of Prof Specht’s achievements during a remarkable career of more […]

Tropical Ecosystems – New Book

Member Prof Dilwyn Griffiths has published a new book, Tropical Ecosystems in Australia: Responses to a Changing World. Copies can be obtained from the publisher. The book draws on a wide range of case studies of tropical Australian ecosystems ranging […]

Research Fund Awards

We are pleased to announce the award of two grants in the second round of the Research Fund. Koala microbiomes by Dr Michaela Blyton of the University of Queensland. We are delighted that the Australian Koala Foundation has agreed to […]

New procedure for the Proceedings

In 2019, for the first time, articles in the Proceedings will be published on line as they are accepted and typeset, without awaiting printing. This new procedure applies to the annual issue, volume 124, and three of the four Special […]

Phytochemical Feast – Paul Williams

Plants are exceptional chemists and their pharmacy provides us with an enormous number of compounds that are essential to our long-term good health. This is explained in a new book by Dr Williams.

Lighthouses of Cooloola and Australia – Ron Turner

Royal Society Member Ron Turner, former Ranger-in-Charge at Cooloola National Park, has produced a delightful e-book on the lighthouses of Australia. 18 lighthouses in Queensland are featured, each with an impressive photograph and a page of notes. The compilation will […]

Corinne Unger presented at Mt Coot-tha quarry forum

Royal Society member Corinne Unger presented at a Mt Coot-tha quarry forum hosted on 8 October by Brisbane City Councillor Michael Berkman and Mt Coot-tha Alliance to kick off the conversation on rehabilitation and closure planning.

Royal Societies of Australia takes a step forward

Queensland has agreed to join the nascent Royal Societies of Australia, a collaboration between the state-based Royal Societies. This step recognises the national dimension of many policy issues that exercise Queensland’s scientists: water management, stewardship of pastoral lands, mine rehabilitation […]

SEGRA 2019 presentations now available

Member Kate Charters, Principal of Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA), has advised that the presentations from the August 2019 conference are now available. Follow this link. Some presentations are backed up by full articles. Many themes are relevant […]

Rangelands Initiative

The Queensland Rangelands Declaration was released on 20 August 2019. This is the first documentary outcome of a two-day discussion with a difference held on 1,2 July 2019. See the Rangelands Declaration webpage for the one-page Declaration and subsequent commentary […]

Gravestones: Public research underpins the knowledge economy – David Marlow

“Australia has a long and inglorious record of establishment by governments of valuable, valued and successful science-based initiatives … only to later abolish them. The results are loss of focus, loss of group knowledge, loss of expertise, loss of analytical […]

Trevor Clifford’s work lives on

The world of science lost a true scientist and gentleman in the passing of Harold Trevor (Trevor) Clifford PhD DSc FLS FAIBiol OAM, on 4 May 2019. Professor Clifford was invested as an Honorary Life Member of the Society on […]

Bittersweet News

The Society’s Patron, His Excellency the Governor of Queensland, invested two new Honorary Life Members at an official reception at Government House on Thursday, 13 June 2019. Dr Ben Lawson, former Secretary and Treasurer, and Ms Cate Melzer, Council member […]

Queensland Science Network launched

The Queensland Science Network was launched  by His Excellency the Governor of Queensland the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC at a reception at Government House on Thursday 13 June. Some 50 guests representing the societies who have joined the network […]

Origins science: Can science discover the origin of the universe? – Phil Andrews

Aerospace engineer Phil Andrews is examining 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 suppress any […]

Leaving a legacy through philanthropy

If anything has become plain through public debate in 2018 and 2019, it has been that it is not sufficient for scientists to publish their knowledge of natural systems in scientific forums. It is also necessary to present that knowledge […]

World Science Festival

Crowds of people visited the Society’s stall at the World Science Festival celebration at Southbank on 23 and 24 March 219. Practical demonstrations of gravity, the solar system and a cyclone attracted children while adults took advantage of the “Ask […]

Proceedings 123 published

The 2018 edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland has now been published. Thanks to Dr Barry Pollock, recently retired Honorary Editor for sterling work in producing his fourth edition; and thanks to the authors and reviewers […]

Health in Remote and Indigenous Communities

The third limb of the Society’s project to identify the preconditions of human health has been focusing on health in remote and Indigenous communities. How do biophysical factors such as nutrition, exercise and childhood exposure to toxins interact with sociological […]

Essentialistic pluralism in taxonomy – Draft article for critical review

“We argue for a refocusing of the species debate on criteria rather than concept, thereby highlighting the real with the context of the hypothetical nature of species”, writes Member Stephen Maxwell and co-authors. Their draft paper is available for critical […]

Seventy-two years of curiosity – Ray Specht AO

From Arnhem Land Expedition 1948 to 2018 – A life’s work With editorial assistance from member Dr David Doley, Life Member Prof Ray Specht has compiled Ray Specht – A Retrospective including a bibliography of some of his published work […]

Inaugural grants from Research Fund announced

At the Society’s AGM on 29 November 2018, the winners of the inaugural awards from the Research Fund were announced by Emeritus Prof. Calvin Rose AM, Life Member: Alex Jiang, University of Queensland, for an investigation of koala-cattle interactions. Chapa […]

Work experience available

Students and others seeking voluntary pre-career experience are invited to contact the Society on Opportunities are potentially available in: website management marketing and public relations scientific inquiry beyond the laboratory bridging science and policy submission-writing journalism writing educational materials […]

Well-being legislation for Queensland? – David Marlow

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, could it work in Queensland? Member David Marlow, systems analyst and futurist, […]

Greenwashing infrastructure – Bill Laurance

Prof 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 […]

Professor Sean Ulm honoured

Member Prof Sean Ulm of James Cook University has just been appointed as Distinguished Professor. The Vice-Chancellor has advised: “James Cook University confers the title of Distinguished Professor upon professors of exceptional distinction. To be eligible … an individual must […]

Springs of the Great Artesian Basin – Special Issue of the Proceedings

The Society has a long tradition  of publishing special themed issues. The Society intends to publish a Special Issue of its Proceedings on Springs of the Great Artesian Basin in late 2019.  This publication is intended to capture articles ranging […]

Prof Angela Arthington honoured

Emeritus Professor Angela Arthington, a member of the Society’s Council, is the 2018 recipient of the Australian Society for Limnology Medal, its highest award, presented for significant contributions to freshwater science. Prof Arthington has published widely on river and fish […]

Drought policy, drought preparedness

To be resilient in the face of drought requires a pastoral enterprise to be both: resilient in financial conditions; resilient in paddock conditions. A producer’s financial circumstances are partly a consequence of their own actions, but are played out upon […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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; […]

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 […]

Papers invited – Proceedings 124, rainforests, preventative health

Researchers with scientific knowledge to share are invited to submit papers for forthcoming issues of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland. Separate Guides to Authors for each issue are available. Proceedings 124 – the annual issue, published regularly […]

A Conservation Memoir – New Edition

Past President Paul Sattler OAM has updated his memoir. A copy is available on the Members’ Collection page. The memoir is a thoroughly interesting story of the drive to enlarge the National Park State and other initiatives in conservation policy […]

Go Extinct! game launched

On 29 April 2018, Royal Society member Ariel Marcy launched her free science game design platform, DIY Go Extinct! at the State Library in Brisbane. Over 35 youngsters, parents, teachers, and scientists came and created one-of-a-kind Go Extinct! games featuring […]

Young environmental lawyer of year

The Society congratulates Ms Revel Pointon, a member of the Society’s Council, on being invested with the 2018 Mahla Pearlman Award for the Australian Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year. A citation on the website of the Environmental Defender’s Office […]

Prof Ray Specht retrospective

The ground-breaking expedition to Arnhem Land in 1948 joined by Prof Ray Specht has been brought to mind by a celebratory article in the newsletter of Jubilee Community Care. We honour Prof Specht, Life Member of the Society, for laying […]

Electricity legislation review announced

The Queensland Government has announced a review of the electricity legislation. It has published an Issues Paper and has invited public comments until 19 June 2018.

Queensland STEM Education Network Funding Terminates

Regrettably federal funding for the innovative and unique Queensland initiative to establish the Queensland STEM Education Network has come to an end. Coordinator Kay Lembo, a Member of the Royal Society, has been unable to identify a source of additional […]

Misalignment of energy policy and climate policy

Member Dr Paul Bell has recently co-authored a highly insightful report Inclusive growth and climate change adaptation and mitigation in Australia and China: Removing barriers to solving wicked problems. The work addresses the trajectory of Australia’s economy and the lack […]

Chronic disease – Prevention or patch-up?

Which preconditions of ill health are most ripe for remedial investment? Is smoking, poor diet, parasite load, socio-economic disadvantage, discrimination, poor education or lack of exercise most influential? What is the cost of not applying the remedies?        What […]

Authors : Annual opportunity to publish your knowledge

Papers are invited for issue 123 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland. See Guide to Authors on the Proceedings page. One does not need to be an established scientist to publish in this venerable journal. Also, a […]

Carbon flows: Key to pastoral productivity – Alan Lauder

Former pastoralist Alan Lauder’s pioneering insights into the management of pastoral landscapes by timing – dynamic management of carbon production – are explained in a series of 37 easy-to-read columns, along with his ground-breaking book of 2008 Carbon Grazing,  an […]

Research Fund

The tax deductible Research Fund is open for donations, which are a way of perpetuating donors’ interest in science. More details on the Research Page. Applications for grants will be invited shortly (March 2018).

Tide of evidence shows that the Reef is in need of our help

The Sunday Mail published an opinion piece by the President on 14 January defending the integrity of scientific research and peer-reviewed publication against a criticism in the previous week’s newspaper. See our Press Releases page for more explanation.

Pandora captures knowledge

PANDORA, Australia’s web archive, stores substantive websites on rotation. This wonderful service, an element of Australia’s information infrastructure, aims to archive valuable information that otherwise might vanish when websites are restructured. Captured versions of the Society’s website from June 2015, […]