Next Lecture and Upcoming Events
For details of past lectures, please see our Lectures Archive.
- 175th Anniversary Program
In October 2018, the Royal Society of Tasmania will be celebrating 175 years – a terquasquicentennial anniversary.
The Royal Society of Tasmania was the first Royal Society to be established outside the United Kingdom
The Society was founded in 1843 by Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, Lieutenant Governor, as the Botanical and Horticultural Society of Van Diemen’s Land. Its aim was to ‘develop the physical character of the Island and illustrate its natural history and productions’. Queen Victoria became Patron in 1844 and the name was changed to The Royal Society of Tasmania of Van Diemen’s Land for Horticulture, Botany and the Advancement of Science. Under the Act of Parliament passed in 1911, the name was shortened to The Royal Society of Tasmania.
Today, with the aim of ‘the advancement of knowledge’, the Society is flourishing and still an important part of Tasmania’s scientific and cultural community.
To celebrate this significant milestone, the Society has put together an inspiring program of events in addition to its usual lecture programs.
30 August 2018
Royal Society of Tasmania Medal Presentation and Lecture
Government House, Hobart
30 September 2018
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) – Inveresk, Launceston
16 October 2018
Government House, Hobart
6 November 2018
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) – Dunn Place, Hobart
10 November 2018
Royal Botanical Gardens, Queens Domain, Hobart
25 November 2018
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) – Inveresk, Launceston
Nov – Dec 2018
Poles Apart Exhibition
Morris Miller Library foyer, UTAS, Sandy Bay Campus
7 Dec 2018 – 5 May 2019
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Dunn Place, Hobart
27 January – 24 February 2019
Lady Franklin Gallery, Ancanthe Park, Lenah Valley, Hobart
March 23–24 2019
Stanley Burbury Theatre – University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus
21 March – 11 June 2019
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Dunn Place, Hobart
- March lecture by Scott Rankin
Inclusive growth – creating new pathways out of deep poverty
by Scott Rankin, Tasmanian Australian of the Year for 2018
Date: 5 March 2019
Place: Central Gallery, TMAG, Dunn Place, Hobart
Time: 8.00 pm
The five Domains of Change which must be tackled together if we are to create sustained positive change in our communities, rather than spinning wheels, more welfare ghettos, and the dulling of potential amongst those in our communities who experience the effects of diminished opportunity. The For Profit sector and the Not For Profit sector must work together, bringing together shared values and practices.
Scott will call on examples of the work of Big hART a Cultural Justice organisation which began in Burnie 25 years ago and continues to expand nationally and internationally. Scott will also speak to themes in his recent Platform Paper “Cultural Justice and the Right to Thrive” (Currency Press) and from an unusual childhood growing up on a Chinese Junk.
Scott Rankin is a nationally renowned public speaker, cultural commentator and founder of Big hART – Australia’s leading arts for social change organisation (www.bighart.org). His theatre, documentary and television projects have won multiple awards. He was the 2018 Tasmanian Australian of the Year and Big hART won both the 2017 Telstra Business Awards Tasmanian Small Business and Charity of the Year.Continue reading →
- Walking Backwards into the Future
2019 Northern Lecture Series
The Royal Society of Tasmania
INVITES YOU TO
Walking Backwards into the Future
– New Directions at QVMAG
A PUBLIC LECTURE BY
MRS TRACY PUKLOWSKI
where:Meeting Room, QVMAG at Inveresk
when: 1.30 pm, Sunday 24thFebruary 2019
admission: free for members of the Royal Society of Tasmania*
$6 general admission
$4 for students, QVMAG Friends, and members of Launceston Historical Society
*membership forms available at the door
Ka Mua, Ka Muriis a Māori proverb referring to “walking backwards into the future”. The past and future are intertwined, and nowhere is this more salient than in the work of museums.
Tracy Puklowski took up the position of City of Launceston Director of Creative Arts and Cultural Services in October 2018. She will take this notionas the basis for discussion on how QVMAG’s history forms a platform for her vision for its future.
Tracy has held a wide range of senior roles in the cultural heritage sector, including at the National Museum of New Zealand and the National Library of New Zealand. She has a long-standing interest in Australian art and museums,has an MA in Art History, a post-graduate Diploma in Museum Studies, and is a graduate of the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute.
Generously supported byContinue reading →
- Australia Day Honours 2019
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Ross Large, President of The Royal Society of Tasmania, has been honoured as an AO – Officer of the Order of Australia – “For distinguished service to education, and to scientific research, in the field of economic geology, and to professional societies.”
The Royal Society extends warmest congratulations to Ross on this acknowledgement of his outstanding work.Continue reading →
- Speakers for the Dinosaur Symposium
Dinosaur “bling” at Lightning Ridge and dinosaur tracks in “Australia’s Jurassic Park” are just some of the fascinating subjects covered by internationally renowned speakers at our upcoming Dinosaur Symposium (23-24 March) hosted by the University of Tasmania.
Here is a sneak preview of the program –
Winton – home of the Big Dinosaur
Dr Stephen Poropat, from Swinburne University, will talk about the dinosaurs of the Winton Formation in Queensland. One recent discovery in Winton proved to be the most complete sauropod ever found in Australia.
Sauropods include among their ranks the largest terrestrial animals that ever lived: some were more than 30 metres long, others more than 13 metres tall, and still others tipped the scales at more than 50 tonnes.
The eventful Precambrian Era
Dr Indrani Mukherjee, from Earth Sciences at the University of Tasmania, will talk about life on very early Earth, the Precambrian Era. This period, spanning from 4500 million years ago to 540 million years ago, is known to record some of the most significant transitions and breakthroughs in the evolution of life. What shaped the course of evolution has always fascinated us. Whether it was the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere and ocean, nutrients in the ocean, or supercontinent cycles, or a combination of all these factors, the question is being thoroughly investigated.
This talk focuses on some of the key biological events in the Precambrian, particularly between (3500 to 800 million years ago) and provides a geological explanation for the cause of these events. The talk ties the geochemical conditions of the ocean and the atmosphere with evolution and diversification of complex microscopic life that facilitated macroscopic life on Earth, including dinosaurs!
Dampier Peninsula: “Australia’s Jurassic Park”
Dr Steve Salisbury, from The Queensland University Dinosaur Laboratory, will talk about the discovery of spectacular dinosaur tracks in the Kimberley region of north Western Australia. An unprecedented 21 different types of dinosaur tracks have been identified on a 25-kilometre stretch of the Dampier Peninsula coastline dubbed ‘Australia’s Jurassic Park’.
According to Dr Salisbury, “The dinosaur track fauna of the Broome Sandstone is extremely significant, forming the primary record of non-avian dinosaurs in the western half the continent and providing our only glimpse of Australia’s dinosaur fauna during the first half of the Early Cretaceous Period”.
Fiery dinosaur fossil at Lightning Ridge
Dr Phill Bell, from University of New England, will talk about the amazing opalized dinosaur bones unearthed at Lightning Ridge in NSW, including the recent discovery of the jaw bone of a small ornithopod. The dinosaur has been named Weewarrasaurus pobeni – a name that recognises the fossil’s unearthing in the Wee Warra opal field, and honours Mike Poben, an Adelaide-based opal buyer who donated the specimen for research.
Like all fossils from the Lightning Ridge opal mines, the lower jaw—the only piece of the animal recovered—is preserved in opal. Precious opal gives off a rainbow of colours, in this case shimmering green and blue. Lightning Ridge is the only place in the world where dinosaur bones are commonly replaced by precious opal.
Evolution: Life on Earth
Professor John Long, from Flinders University, will give us the history of evolution of life on Earth, from single celled bacteria to fishes, then dinosaurs, birds and finally humans. He is an internationally acclaimed exceptional speaker and has led fossil digs all over the Earth. He is currently in Antarctica on a dig, but will be back in time for our symposium.
- 2019 Events
Our Hobart lecture program for 2019 is almost there; here’s a preliminary view:
MARCH 5 – Scott Rankin: Tasmanian Australian of the year for 2018.
APRIL 2 – Dr Elizabeth Robinson: On educating young people in Tasmania today.
MAY 6 – The Peter Smith Medal Lecture
JUNE 4 – Aboriginal language revitalisation: celebrating the 2019 International Year of Indigenous languages
JULY 2 – Neil Spark: On Road Safety in Tasmania
AUGUST 6 – Marley Large: A glimpse into 175 years of the Royal Society of Tasmania’s Minutes.
SEPTEMBER 3 – Doctoral Award Winner Lecture
OCTOBER 1 – Dr Anita Hansen: The first 175 years of the Royal Society of Tasmania.
NOVEMBER 5 – UTas Postgraduates Lecture Evening.
DECEMBER 3 – John Williamson: Hobart’s Antarctic connection.
The full program for the 2019 Launceston Lecture Series can be viewed HERE
In the meantime, our 175 Anniversary celebrations continue with exhibitions and events. Please check our anniversary program for more details :-
The student friendly symposium about dinosaurs and the evolution of life takes place at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus, over the weekend of 23 – 24 March. You can register for the symposium and pay for tickets on our website :
An exhibition of art works by Louisa Anne Meredith at the Lady Franklin Gallery opened on 2 February and goes until the end of the month. The gallery is open weekends only.
An exhibition of the watercolour works of Tasmanian vistas by Francis Guillemard Simpkinson de Wesselow (1819–1906) will be on at TMAG from 21 March – 11 June.
The Dinosaur rEvolution exhibition continues at TMAG until May.
- Christmas Dinner and Lecture
The Royal Society of Tasmania’s 2018 Christmas dinner was held in the CSIRO dinning room at Battery Point on Tuesday 4th of December.
The lecture and dinner were attended by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, the Governor of Tasmania and Mr Richard Warner. The Governor is patron of the Royal Society of Tasmania and the Society has been really spoilt this year by the Governor’s support in both hosting and attending our events.
The Christmas lecture was delivered by Professor Rufus Black.
Rufus Black is the Vice Chancellor and President at the University of Tasmania. Previously, he was Master of Melbourne University’s Ormond College and an Enterprise Professor in the Department of Management and Marketing and a Principal Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. Rufus’ private sector experience includes nine years as a partner at McKinsey and Company, serving clients in Australia and Asia, and as a Director for national law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth. His educational and social sector experience includes being the President of Museums Victoria, the Deputy Chancellor of Victoria University, the founding Chair of the Board of the Teach for Australia Board, a Director of the New York based Teach for All and a Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.
Rufus worked extensively for government at Federal and State levels. He was a Board Member of Innovation Science Australia, conducted the Black Review into the Department of Defence and the Prime Minister’s Independent Review of the Australian Intelligence Community and was the Strategic Advisor to the Secretary of Education in Victoria. Rufus holds degrees in law, politics, economics, ethics and theology from the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
- Massive Dinosaur Picnic
Saturday 10 November. In the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens the Royal Society of Tasmania put on a dinosaur party, the likes of which have not been seen for about sixty-five million years. The crowds came from far and wide for this Jurassic celebration.
Thanks to everyone who made this great event a great event.
Photography by David WilsonContinue reading →
- Book Launch – Poles Apart
Official Launch by the Governor of Tasmania on 6 November at TMAG
Poles Apart: Fascination, Fame and Folly, edited by Dr Anita Hansen and Dr Brita Hansen, was launched by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. This is the second book created as part of the 175th Anniversary celebrations of The Royal Society of Tasmania.
The publication was produced using images from The Royal Society of Tasmania’s Rare Book collection and features articles composed by 19 international, interstate and Tasmanian scientists and historians. The book investigates and enlightens the reader as to the mysteries, deprivations, endurance and achievements of the heroes who took on the challenges of Arctic and Antarctic exploration.
Poles Apart can be ordered online
or via email to email@example.com.
- 25 Nov. – Tasmania’s Forgotten Emus – David Maynard, at QVMAG
The November lecture for the Northern Branch of the Royal Society will take place on Sunday the 25th of November at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Inveresk, at 1.15 pm. The lecture by David Maynard entitled Tasmania’s Lost Emus will be preceeded by the northern launch of the latest Royal Society publication Poles Apart: Fascination, fame and folly.
The Royal Society of Tasmania – 2018 Launceston Lecture Series
Admission: $6 general public
$4 QVMAG Friends, members of Launceston Historical Society and students
Free for members of The Royal Society of Tasmania
Tasmania’s Lost Emus
Tasmania’s extinct emu is less well known than the iconic thylacine, yet just as deserving of recognition. Recent research has aged skeletal material, and DNA work has shed light on the relationships between populations. There are many theories as to why the emu became extinct so soon after European arrival in Tasmania. David Maynard will review the Tasmanian emu and current research results, and discuss the drivers for extinction.
David has been the curator of Natural Sciences at QVMAG for six years, and in that role he works to preserve a record of Northern Tasmania’s biodiversity. Prior to taking this position he was an academic at the Australian Maritime College and University of Tasmania where he specialized in fishing gear technology, by-catch reduction and marine biodiversity. The role of curator has allowed David to do something he enjoys – continuing to learn. He has a growing understanding of terrestrial rather than marine fauna, and is focusing on Northern Tasmania’s insect and spider diversity. He also looks into Tasmania’s past, trying to understand how Tasmania has changed over the last 50,000 years.
The presentation of this lecture is generously supported by
- Dinosaur Picnic
Dinosaur Picnic in the Botanical Gardens, Saturday 10th November 2018, 11.00am to 2.00pm.
A free event for the whole family sponsored by the Royal Society of Tasmania and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.Continue reading →