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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
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Royal Society of Victoria 1854-1959


Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science

Philosophical Society of Victoria

Philosophical Institute of Victoria

Royal Society of Victoria



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Royal Society of Victoria (continued)

As one of the means for economy within the Society, the taking of shorthand notes of council meetings, which had been the custom for many years and which had involved a considerable sum of money, was discontinued after the June 1893 meeting. In this year, also as an economy measure, it was decided to call tenders for the publication of the Proceedings, the tender of Messrs Ford & Sons, printers, of Carlton, being accepted. Thus commenced an association with this firm for the printing of the Society's publications which was to last with only short breaks for over 60 years.

The departure of the steam whaler Antarctic from Tonsberg in October 1894 under the command of Captain Christensen was an evidence of the interest created in the region by the active agitation of the Antarctic exploration committee during the previous 10 years and, although the primary objective of the vessel was whaling, some meteorological observations were made and specimens collected. The accounts of the voyage, which reached 74šS., whetted the appetite of the committee for the fulfilment of their earlier objectives.

The further reduction of the government grant to £100 in 1895 brought to the fore a financial crisis in the Society which required great pruning of everything but essentials to enable the Society to pay its way with maintenance of the building and library. The foregoing of the publication of certain papers that had been presented to meetings became a necessity, and the publication funds became exhausted with the printing of Vol. IV of the Transactions.

1896 brought to a close the life of another of the pioneers of the original Society, an explorer of some considerable fame, and a botanist of worldwide reputation—Baron Sir Ferdinand von Mueller. Mueller, a foundation member of the Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science and of the Philosophical Society of Victoria, had always been actively engaged in the work of the Society either as president or as a council member, and his contributions to the Society in the field of botany and exploration brought fame not only to himself (for which he cared but little) but also to the Society. His service of over 40 years as Government Botanist brought a clear picture of the potential of the vegetation of Australia and, at the same time, his knowledge of overseas plants suggested possibilities for commercial introductions.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Philosophical Society of Victoria

People in Bright Sparcs - Mueller, Dr Ferdinand

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Pescott, R. T. M. 1961 'The Royal Society of Victoria from then, 1854 to now, 1959', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, vol. 73, no. 7, pp. 1-40.

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