The Queensland Academy exists to promote excellence in the arts and sciences, to stimulate activity in those areas that lie on the intersection between disciplines, and to provide independent scholarship and advice for social and pulic policy.
We aim to promote advances in the arts and sciences, and to give a voice to scholars, thinkers and social commentators from a wide range of disciplines in furtherance of our mission and aims. Indeed, the Academy aspires to be seen as the intellectual heartbeat of the State.
We conduct seminars of broad interest, support learned activities across the State, and host an annual dinner with prominant guests and guest speakers. We work closely with universities, research bodies and agencies such as the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Museum..
Today (12 December) we wish Founder of the Academy, John O’Hagan, a very happy birthday. Active and young-looking, John turns 99 today. John started his studies at The University of Queensland in 1939 but these were interrupted by his military service during the war. He later returned to further study at UQ and in 1959 became the first PhD graduate in biochemistry from a Queensland university. An illustrious career as a pioneering medical scientist followed.
Our Treasurer, Hamish McBain tells of a visit to his office in the mid 90’s of John and the late Bob Johnson (Dr Robert William Johnson, director of the Queensland Herbarium and President of the Royal Society of Queensland in 1982). They had an “idea” and sought Hamish’s assistance in bringing the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences into being. A steering committee was formed, many in business, academia and government were approached, and an office and some seed funding were found. Thanks to John’s research and hard work in developing and getting support in those early days, the Academy is now flourishing.
John continues to play an active role in the Academy, attending meetings and lectures.
2018 John'O'Hagan lecture with Alan Finkel and 2019 lecture with Fiona Wood
On a regular basis the Academy invites guest speakers to make presentations to Academy members and the general public. You can read past presentations and other Academy publications here.