||Science and the making of Victoria
Table of Contents
Inaugural and Anniversary Addresses of the Royal Society
Inaugural Address, delivered by Mr. Justice Barry, President of the Institute, at the Opening Converzazione, 22nd Sept., 1854
Inaugural Address of the President, Captain Clarke, R. E., Surveyor-General, &c., &c.
Anniversary Address of the President, the Honourable Andrew Clarke, Captain R. E., M.P., Surveyor-General of Victoria, &c., &c., &c.
Anniversary Address of the President, His Honor Sir William Foster Stawell, Knight, Chief Justice of Victoria, &c., &c. [Delivered to the Members of the Institute, 12th April, 1858]
Anniversary Address of the President, Ferdinand Mueller, Esq., Ph.D., M.D. F.R.G. and L.S., &c., &c. [Delivered to the Members of the Institute, 28th March, 1859]
Address of the President, Ferdinand Mueller, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.G. & L.S., &c., &c. [Delivered to the Members of the Institute at the Inauguration of the Hall, January 23rd, 1860.]
Inaugural Address of the President, His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B., &c., &c. [Delivered to the Members of the Royal Society, at the Anniversary Meeting held on the 10th April, 1860.]
Inaugural Address, delivered by Mr. Justice Barry, President of the Institute, at the Opening Converzazione, 22nd Sept., 1854 (continued)
Discoveries the most memorable have arisen accidentally and almost unbidden. The stain left on the lips of a dog, which had feasted on an insignificant shell fish, drew attention to that dye which tinctured the robes kings and conquerors were proud to wear. We are told that some Phoenician sailors having, for want of other fuel wherewith to cook their food on the sea-shore, had recourse to some blocks of alkali with which their vessel was laden, were astonished to behold it, when acted on by heat, dissolve into translucent streams, and assume with the sand the undesigned form of vitrification, giviny the first hints for the manufacture of glass, now so indispensable an article of use, ornament, and luxury. The fatal efficacy of gunpowder,as an agent for the destruction of human life surprised the loistered BACON. The mirthful disporting of the children of an obscure spectacle-maker of Middleburg, who, by placing two pieces of glass one before the other, and looking through them, observed the weathercock on a neighbouring steeple to be magnified, drew the notice of the father to the fact; who, struck by the singularity of the effect adjusted lenses on a board in brass rings, moveable at pleasure,the first rude attempt at the telescope, the instrument which has so effectually aided to establish the renown of NEWTON, LA PLACE, and HERSCHEL. The spasmodic convulsion of the limbs of a dead frog, caused by the unpremeditated contact with two plates of metal, exposed to GALVANI the premises on which, by a series of successful experiments, he built up the principles of Animal Electricity. While many of those by which Chemistry has administered so extensively to the convenience and efficiency of medicines, by removing nauseating or pernicious substances, or to ennobling the arts by disclosing previously unknown properties in Yeactables, minerals, acids, or alkalies; in fixing or liberating colours; in ascertaining the composition and affinities of the different gases; have almost, as it were, obtruded themselves obliquely,and the unappropriated ideas which the surge of overflowing time casts upon its bosom have thus allowed themselves to be drawn within the eddying, verge of that circle which the inquirer has disturbed.
But to turn and view the subject in another light. There is no slender enjoyment afforded by the ready concession made by intellectual liberality to a demonstration, however startling, which stands in direct contradiction to traditional error, to the immature offspring of crude theories which we have too readily accepted from others, or to the cherished conclusions which we may have rashly drawn from ill-considered or assumed data; and the celerity with which after the evidence has been understood and assent granted to the new proposition, all preexisting notions are displacedand the tenacity with which the belief diners to the latter doctrine, by which the former has been supplanted, prove incontestibly the natural and indwelling love of truth which predominates over every other impression on the heart and mind.
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