The Society seeks to increase awareness of and respect for intellectual inquiry in Queensland. It encourages original scholarly research and the application of scientific knowledge and evidence-based method to policy-making and decision-making. 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 is not politically aligned. It does not campaign on social or environmental issues and is not involved in the republican movement. It networks between disciplinary specialists, government and the community; holds seminars crossing disciplinary and sectoral silos; and publishes the annual Proceedings.
The importance of upholding the standards of evidence-led enquiry has arguably never been more vital, as modern communications allow all manner of opinion to be shared widely around the world and the reputation of honest science is under pressure from ideologues.
The Society takes an interest in all disciplines that adhere to scientific method, including biomedicine and social sciences such as sociology. Philosophy, policy and education related to knowledge-based inquiry are also within scope. (However, the scope of the annual Proceedings is more limited, to the natural sciences, given the availability nowadays of a wide range of alternative specialist journals).
The Society hosts the Queensland Science Network , a collaboration between knowledge-based scientific societies.
The Society hosts the tax-deductible Royal Society of Queensland Research Fund, established to make grants for small-scale projects by scientists and naturalists.
With the energising of the Research Fund on 5 June 2018, the Society is able to offer a comprehensive range of support services for Queensland science, from funding original curiosity-led investigation, to conferences and deliberative seminars, to mentoring with experienced scientists and networking across disciplines through to publication in a venerable peer-reviewed outlet.
The logo, designed by artist Frances Blines, includes an image of a strand of double helix forming a Q and surrounding the Cooktown Orchid complemented with an image of a terrestrial/aquatic littoral or riparian zone.