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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
Table of Contents

A Consortium Approach to Marine Science


The Origins of VIMS and Its Consortium Approach

Benefits and Problems of a Consortium Approach

Realizing the Benefits, Overcoming the Problems

VIMS' Role in the Consortium

Building on the Consortium Approach




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The Origins of VIMS and Its Consortium Approach

During the 1960s and 1970s, there were a number of major events which acted as catalysts for the development of Australian marine science and its modern institutions. One which stands out is the first wave of infestations of the Great Barrier Reef by the Crown-of-Thorns starfish; I think we can consider that lovely, if problematic, animal to be 'the sputnik' of Australian marine science, for its galvanising effect on the public, bureaucratic and political minds.

Other events were probably more significant: the steps towards declaring a 200 nautical mile Australian Fishing Zone under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; the commencement of oil and gas flow from the Bass Strait offshore field; and especially, the first great green wave of environmentalism of the late 1960s and early 1970s (Hammond, in press). All of these made us—the public, the scientists, the educators, the politicians—acutely aware of both the limitations on our knowledge of Australian marine environments, and the heavy responsibilities we bore, or would assume, for their protection and management.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences

People in Bright Sparcs - Law, Phillip Garth

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Hammond, Laurie 1992 'A Consortium Approach to Marine Science', Education, Antarctica, Marine Science and Australia's Future: Proceedings of the Phillip Law 80th Birthday Symposium, 23 April 1992, Royal Society of Victoria, pp. 63-70.

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