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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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The Committee of Inquiry into the Bureau of Meteorology

Early in 1976, the Fraser Government issued a Green Paper entitled Towards New Perspectives for Australian Meteorological Services[76], as a means of encouraging submissions on the future of weather services from as wide a variety of sources as possible. A statement dealing with the Bureau's relationship with ANMRC was remarkable for the manner in which the Bureau stance on the subject was displayed so publicly, even before responses were in: "As far as the Bureau is concerned one of the Centre's chief functions is to assist in the development of forecasting techniques of greater accuracy and for longer periods".

Indeed the Bureau's response[17] to the Green Paper revealed that it had not given up its desire to control its own full-scale research program. It argued that its scientific health and the need to maintain its services at an acceptable standard "require(d) a strengthened in-house research program directed both to long-term and short-term needs, to basic as well as applied research and development". Yet again, the Bureau made reference to the Gibbs/Priestley/White Prospectus in support of its view that ANMRC should "in due course be consolidated within the Bureau" as the best means of achieving these ends. Another argument related to the side benefits of conducting such work within the Bureau. Here the findings of the Tucker-Moran report[80] were enlisted by the Bureau in defence of its view. The Bureau also noted that the national weather services of most first world countries contained their own research groups which included up to 30 per cent of their total professional staff.

Possible solutions put forward by the Bureau[17], to the problems it saw in relation to its research program included, the introduction of merit-based promotion and a research scientist structure into the Bureau, preferably operating as a statutory authority; an increase in research staff to a level approaching the 15 per cent average of the developed nations; the adoption of an overseas study scheme similar to that operated by the New Zealand Meteorological Service; and the removal of the staffing differentials between ANMRC and the Bureau, with the eventual integration of the two organisations.

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

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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