||Federation and Meteorology
Table of Contents
History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology
Chapter 1: Germination and Growth
The First Three Decades
A Time of Rapid Growth
Chapter 2: Struggle, Competition and Emergence
Appendix 1: Meteorology Act 1906
Appendix 2: Meteorology Act 1955
Appendix 3: Simpson Report
Appendix 4: Survey Questionnaire
Appendix 5: Bibliography
Negotiations with the Radio Research Board
The period 193035 saw a number of discussions and disagreements between the Bureau and the Radio Research Board (RRB) over the utility of Cathode Ray Direction Finding (CRDF) equipment for the location of thunderstorms and the introduction of Bjerknes' frontal theory into Australian weather forecasting. The RRB was following up overseas work which suggested that there was a strong correlation between atmospheric electrical discharges (atmospherics) and the position of meteorological phenomena, particularly cold front thunderstorms.
Despite Hunt's initial acceptance of an offer of collaboration from the RRB, overall support within the Bureau must have been rather lukewarm, so much so that in March 1931 the RRB came to the conclusion that the Bureau's scientific basis was so weak that it could not appreciate the practical application of the Board's research. This view was backed by the British Airship Commission, then investigating an air route for a dirigible (R101) service between Australia and Britain and given moral support by the Royal Australian Navy, which had also expressed interest in the Board's work (Evans ).
Concurrently, the RRB approached the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Executive to take appropriate action to strengthen the Bureau's scientific expertise and have a scientist appointed Commonwealth Meteorologist in future. Apparently, representations were made at the time but never followed up (Evans ). It should be noted at this point that in a letter to the RRB dated 29 April 1935, W. S. Watt, by then Commonwealth Meteorologist, stated that the Bureau staff included "four science (physics) graduates"four out of a total of nearly ninety!
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Radio Research Board
People in Bright Sparcs - Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Watt, William Shand
© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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