||Federation and Meteorology
Table of Contents
History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology
Chapter 1: Germination and Growth
Chapter 2: Struggle, Competition and Emergence
The Struggle for Recognition
The Bureau Goes Solo
Appendix 1: Meteorology Act 1906
Appendix 2: Meteorology Act 1955
Appendix 3: Simpson Report
Appendix 4: Survey Questionnaire
Appendix 5: Bibliography
Research Within the Bureau
Unfortunately, the wartime collaboration between the Bureau and CSIR proved to be short-lived. Confrontation commenced with a letter from Dr E. G. (Taffy) Bowen to Sir David Rivett, CSIR's Chief Executive Officer, in April 1945. In it, Bowen proposed that CSIR should establish a Meteorological Research Section within the RPL in order to carry out various investigations into Australian meteorology. He advanced three main reasons in support of this proposal.
The first of these concerned the number of important meteorological problems peculiar to Australia and pressing the need to solve them. This was especially so in the case of accurate seasonal forecasting, which could save primary industry a great deal of money, if dealt with successfully.
As his second line of attack, Bowen argued that no other Commonwealth organisation was interested in the problem and no scientific exploration of the subject was being undertaken at the time. Bowen believed that the Bureau's Research Section was not worthy of its name as it was mainly concerned with technical matters to do with the day-to-day functioning of the Bureau. Here he referred to the Simpson report and the recommendation that meteorological research of a scientific nature not be carried out within the national weather service.
Finally, Bowen pointed to a number of areas of meteorology which, he claimed, were outside the scope of the Bureau, such as the use of radar and radar aids in the conduct of research, the study of the physics of cloud formation, the continuing investigation of super-refraction and the scattering of radio waves by water droplets and ice crystals.
People in Bright Sparcs - Bowen, Edward George (Taffy)
© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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