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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
International Involvement
Local Cooperation
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



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Commonwealth Meteorological Research Centre (continued)

In his document[32], Gibbs claimed that had it not been for his earlier initiatives in upgrading the Bureau's research capabilities, CMRC would not exist, and that the Gibbs/Priestley/White Prospectus had supported his approach to this task. He also noted that the possibility of difficulties in the operation of CMRC had been recognised by the then Minister for the Interior and the officers responsible for its establishment. He was concerned that the Centre would continue to become more and more oriented towards long-term as opposed to short-term results and that this was against the spirit of the original Cabinet proposal. Gibbs was happy to acknowledge its scientific achievements, but was worried that it was less than cost-effective in terms of outputs directly applicable to Bureau activities. He believed that, if this trend continued, the Bureau might have to set up its own Numerical Weather Prediction Research and Development Unit in collaboration with the WMC. Just how this might be done, given previous difficulties, he did not explain.

On the other hand, Tucker[78] felt that the Centre had "been highly successful in terms of both scientific advances and the development of useful operational methods". He argued that there were two main reasons for this, the blending of the skills of CSIRO and Bureau staff on the research teams, and the striking of the proper balance between progressive research and the development and refinement of useful operational techniques. He noted that this balance had been maintained in face of Gibbs' claims that CMRC's research should be directed towards solving the Bureau's immediate operational problems. Tucker also drew attention to what he perceived as the two major problems confronting the Centre since its inception, namely, the degree of autonomy accorded the Officer-in-Charge in the day-to-day management of the Centre, and the interpretation of the agreement under which CMRC operated, and of its objectives in particular.

It seemed by now that Tucker[78] had changed his views from those expressed in the Tucker-Moran report, made whilst he was with the Bureau, and had now come to believe that the Bureau was more of a hindrance than a help in the advancement of meteorological research. He suggested that this was due to its bureaucratic nature as much as anything else, an opinion presumably based on his experience as its Assistant Director of Research and as Officer-in-Charge of CMRC.

People in Bright Sparcs - Gibbs, William James (Bill); Tucker, Gilbert Brian

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Gardner, J. 1997 'Stormy Weather: A History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 11 December 1997, Bureau of Meteorology

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