Gerard W. Williams became a member of the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa in 1902. He contributed "Notes on lime, clean-up, etc." to the society's Journal (1904/5, Vol. 5) and was co-author, with James E. Thomas*, of a paper on "The use of bisulphate of sodium in the [cyanide] clean-up", published in the same volume. At this time he worked as an analytical chemist at South Rose Deep, Ltd., Germiston. Later he was a corresponding member of the society's council for 1913/4. In 1906 he was a member also of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, though at this time his address was in Kalgoorlie, a gold-mining town in the southern part of Western Australia.
Williams attended the joint meeting of the British and South African Associations for the Advancement of Science in South Africa in 1905 and on 30 August addressed the meeting in Johannesburg on "The functions of the metallurgical laboratory". His paper was included in the Addresses and papers... published after the meeting (Vol. 1, pp. 184-198). It dealt with the role of state supported metallurgical laboratories in research, the testing of mine supplies, and the education and training of staff. The author recommended the establishment of such a central laboratory on the Witwatersrand, maintained at the cost of all the mines.