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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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Anniversary Address of the President, the Honourable Andrew Clarke, Captain R. E., M.P., Surveyor-General of Victoria, &c., &c., &c. (continued)

Though this view of the case is so far satisfactory, let us not forget that gold alone will not help us with our railroads,—that it cannot with profit be exchanged for coal and iron and manufactured goods.

It is certain that this yield increases at the expense of every useful manufacture, and that the country which depends upon this alone will soon retrograde, and be left far behind in civilisation, in arts, and in refinement.

In seeking to connect the sciences with the practical business of life, there are many prejudices to be overcome, and much difficult ground to be broken up. Aware of this, we must be prepared for sacrifices on our part, but such as we need not shrink from if we look steadily forward to the beneficial results of even a partiil success. Already has an advance been made in this direction. An institute of this kind in the midst of a people, strangers to each other, who have not yet begun to acknowledge, if they yet recognize, the ties which in the European world draw men into close connection, is not intended to compete with societies which have long been founded, which have reaped the labours of such men as Forbes and De la Beche, and are receiving continual accessions from many hands in all parts of the world. It is perhaps, in some instances, because of a comparison with such societies, that this Institution in Victoria has not received that cordial help which it has a right to claim. Those who have taken this view must not forget that the Royal Seciety of England had a commencement auguring ill for its future success. Established at a period when men's minds were divided between rejecting the teachings of science altogether, and attributing to such knowledge more than a miraculous power;—composed of men, many of whom were unacquainted with the simplest facts of science, which indeed were then only known to a few;—encountering fierce hostility from the most eminent persons;—suspected of conspiring, both against religion and freedom;—it had a long struggle before it won public confidence.

Such difficulties as these we have not to contend against; but the persuits we ask others to follow and to support us in, have never yet been properly recognized, or their importance practically admitted. Natural history finds no place in our schools. The practical man has stood aloof from the man of science. The Manufacturer, the Artist, and Designer, have followed the dictates of empirical practice, and have rarely, till of late years, lent a patient ear to the simple truths taught by the Chemist and the Geologist. And is it because the sciences are remote from their pursuits? "I am not one of those," says Forbes, "who would desire to see the ordinary pursuits of men, or who would desire to see philosophers withdrwing themselves from the multitude, by keeping their thoughts unmingled with the meaner aims of the crowd. When Science, provided she be mindful of her honour, and makes no sacrifices of her love of truth, serves as the handmaiden of even the humblest of arts, her dignity gains in lustre, and her familiarity breeds respect. There is no department of science without some ties with the common business of life."

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