||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 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.] (continued)
I find that in accordance with the latter intention, not far short of one hundred Papers on points connected with Zoology, Botany, Geology, Astronomy, Meteorology, Engineering, other branches of science both exact and inexact, have been, during the five years of its existence, read and discussed; and when I mention, not invidiously but for the sake of illustration, the names of Professors Wilson, McCoy, Hearn, and Neumayer; of Doctors Mueller and Becker; of Messrs. Selwyn and Brough Smyth, as among the contributors, I need hardly add that much has been thereby done for the advancement of scientific truth.
I would not ignore the fact that the Society has been occasionally criticised by the local press for the trivial nature of some of the topics brought forward, no less than for the asperity which has at times characterised its discussions. Such criticism need occasion little concern. If well founded, it can scarcely fail to lead to improvement. If unfair, it will in the long run fall harmless.
I am old enough to remember the attacks of the Times on the early proceedings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; but witty and vivacious as were its sallies, they aided probably rather than retarded the subsequent triumphs of that noble scientific Congress.
We are in fact all of us too prone to despise such pursuits as lead to no visible or immediate good to society; but, as has been well remarked, "no serious study is without serious value to the human race," and a very little reflection will serve to show that the observation of facts cannot possibly be too minute or too accurate when we are engaged in investigating the mysterious and all but inscrutable laws of Nature.
Whilst I feel justified, however, in asserting that fair progress has been made towards realising one of the chief objects for which the Society has been institutednamely, to elicit original communications on scientific subjectI am, at the same time, free to confess that, looking to the many eminent names enrolled among its members, more, far more, of interest and importance might have been expected to be contained in the three volumes of its Transactions which have as yet seen the light.
My idea is, that the Society's Transactions ought to present a faithful and enduring record of the position and progress of scientific research in this country, and should set forth the most advanced views that its savans entertain on the great scientific questions of the day, more especially those effecting the development of our material resources. From some of these gentlemen, however, mere passing and fugtive contributions have been obtained; from others none at all; and so far from the Transactions reflecting the actual state of science in Victoriaof which there is, in my opinion, every reason to be prouda stranger desirous of judging for himself on this point, would be obliged to gather scattered intimations of the labors of our scientific men from the reports of scientfic bodies in Europe, from returns laid before the Legislature, or from even less accessible sources of information.
People in Bright Sparcs - Becker, Ludwig; McCoy, Frederick; Mueller, Dr Ferdinand; Neumayer, Georg Balthazar; Selwyn, Alfred Richard Cecil; Smyth, Robert Brough; Wilson, William Parkinson
© Copyright of Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and The Royal Society of Victoria 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher