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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
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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.]

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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)


To devise a remedy for this inadaquate representation of the state of science in our pages, may not be easy, but it will at any rate prove salutary to trace its causes.

There is in Victoria, I need hardly remind you, no class of noblemen and gentlemen, as at home, devoting ample fortunes to the cultivation of such scientific pursuits as please them, and possessing abundant leisure to communicate their discoveries to one another.

It is a melancholy fact, though one almost incidental to the paucity of our population and the newness of our society, that neither literary nor scientific reaching will, except in connection with posts of public emolument, enable even the most talented to earn a livelihood in this country. I need not cite instances; the experience of everybody will supply not a few. Hence it so happens that our leading scientific men have nearly all of them professional duties of more or less urgency to perform, and but little time at their disposal for the composition of papers not absolutely required by the State at their hands.

So far from blaming them for this, we are bound to feel the deepest obligation to them for transferring their labors to our shores. There is scarcely one of them who would not have obtained higher honors if not larger emoluments in the Old World, and who does not therefore remain to explore the wide field opened at the Antipodes from pure love of science.

It is natural that under such circumstances gentlemen should, when devoting their spare hours to descibe the result of their observations, seek to influence as large a body of scientific readers as possible, and that they should, therefore, seldom address themselves to this Society, where the number of members who have turned their attention to any particular branch of knowledge is necessarily extremely limited. Hitherto, in fact, this paucity of members has constituted the great obstacle to the introduction of ti proper system of sectional division into our rules, and I fear no arrangement of the sort can work well until the number of cultivators of science is greatly augmented among us.

At the last meeting of the British Association at Aberdeen, upwards of two thousand members were present, furnishing material for full attendance, and an intelligent auditory in every section.

Is it too much to anticipate that those throughout the Australian Colonies who take an interest in the advancement of science will, ere long, congregate in like manner in one or other of their Capital Cities every year?

We have intercolonial cricket matches for the development of the physical strength of our youth; champion races to test the fleetness of our horses. Why should we not have annual gatherings for the interchange of intellectual ideas? Into such an arena it would be worth the while of our scientific men to descend. The Geologists might satisfactorily discuss the theory of the distribution of gold in its matrix; the Palĉontologists determine whether our coal fields were really of the Palĉozoic or Mesozoic era, or whether secondary formations have any place on the Australian Continent or not. But until we can hold out an inducement in this way, we can hardly hope for such disquisitions on the different species of Ammonites and Belemnites as we had the pleasure of listening to from Professor McCoy on the occasion of Dr. Hochstetter's recent lecture; nor be surprised that Mr. Selwyn should prefer to make known his theories through the journals of the Geological Society of Great Britain.


People in Bright Sparcs - McCoy, Frederick; Selwyn, Alfred Richard Cecil

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