Unsurprisingly, the local Royal Society before 1901 looked much like a bastion of colonialism. Knowledge of ‘natural philosophy’ was a class and gender signature in the existence of the gentleman amateur scientist. That outlook was slowly changing in the early twentieth century, and, by the mid-twentieth century, a female professional was the local Society President.
The Royal Society of Queensland was formed in 1884, and was formerly the Philosophical Society of Queensland. The Royal Society encourages scientific investigation and the application of science. The early Society Presidents were influential men of colonial Queensland:
1883-84 and 1887-88 Augustus Charles Gregory Explorer, Surveyor;
1884-85 Joseph Bancroft Surgeon, Parasitologist;
1885-86 Lewis Adolphus Bernays public servant;
1886-87 and 1891-92 Albert Norton Politician, Pastoralist;
1888-89 Charles Walter De Vis Biologist;
1889-90 William Saville-Kent Marine Biologist;
1890-91 Frederick Manson Bailey Botanist;
1891 William Henry Miskin Lawyer, lepidopterist;
1892-93 John Shirley Educationist and scientist;
1894 Robert Logan Jack Geologist;
1895 Walter Taylor Construction;
1896 Joseph Lauterer Biologist, Doctor, Ethnographer;
1897 Charles Joseph Pound Microscopist, Bacteriologist;
1898 Sydney Barber Josiah Skertchly Geologist, Naturalist;
1899 Joseph William Sutton Engineer, Inventor; and
1900 John Thomson Army surgeon and colonel.
Among those who were Society Presidents during the early twentieth century were the leaders of their fields at the time, and grounded the scholarship for Queensland, mainly linked by the new University of Queensland in George Street, and the Queensland Museum. Among these numbers were:
1916 Ronald Hamlyn-Harris Entomologist;
1918 Arthur Bache Walkom Palaeobotanist, Museum director;
1919 and 1939-40 Albert Heber Longman Naturalist, Museum Curator;
1922 Henry James Priestley Mathematician;
1925-26 Roger Hawken Engineer;
1926-27 James Vincent Duhig Pathologist, Bacteriologist;
1927-28 E. J. Goddard Biologist, Zoologist;
1928-1929 Thomas Parnell (scientist) Physicist;
1933-34 Raphael Cilento Medicine;
1936-37 Jack Keith Murray Agricultural science;
1938-39 Henry Caselli Richards Geologist;
1949 Dorothy Hill Geologist, Palaeontologist.
About Us. Royal Society of Queensland Website.
Mock Cover for The Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 1890 to 1892 [https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-proceedings-of-the-royal/9780243278794-item.html]