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Table of Contents

History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology




Chapter 1: Germination and Growth

Chapter 2: Struggle, Competition and Emergence

Appendix 1: Meteorology Act 1906

Appendix 2: Meteorology Act 1955

Appendix 3: Simpson Report

Appendix 4: Survey Questionnaire

Appendix 5: Bibliography



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In July 1990, I commenced a Master of Science in Society degree through the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne in order to expand my understanding of this interesting field. One of my electives was the History of Australian Scientific Institutions and it was this that prompted my interest in the history of the Bureau. Since writing the history of the entire Bureau would be a major undertaking, I decided to focus more on the growth of the Bureau as a research organisation as this was also much more suited to the focus of my degree.

It took me some eighteen months to complete the thesis, with the majority of the time spent digging through old files and chasing down other esoteric bits of information, some of which turned up quite unexpectedly in out of the way places. As is usual in these cases, my thesis which forms the basis of this Metarch Paper would not have been completed without the assistance of many people from the Bureau of Meteorology, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Division of Atmospheric Research and the University of Melbourne. In particular, my thanks for their assistance and forebearance go to:

  • the following Bureau personnel—Director of Meteorology John Zillman; Deputy Director (Research and Systems) Doug Gauntlett; staff of the Head Office Library and Judy Long, in particular, for her many searches through dusty shelves for interesting items; Mick Williams, Joe Dzikonski and the rest of the crew from Head Office Registry for arranging the archives material; and the many other Bureau staff who contributed in some way towards the completion of this document—plus ex-Bureau staff Bill Gibbs, Don Handcock, Allan Cornish, Max Cassidy, Bob Crowder and Keith Henderson;

  • Brian Tucker and staff from the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, and the staff at CSIRO Archives, Canberra, for unearthing some of their ancient papers;

  • John Robbins of the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation, Canberra, special thanks for digging out the file on the Kyeema disaster;

  • Dr Mark Richmond, the University of Melbourne, Archives, for his assistance with the Loewe papers, and Dr Helen Verran and Prof Rod Home from the History and Philosophy of Science Department, the University of Melbourne, without whose help this project would never have begun, and who kept me pointed in the right direction throughout the entire process; and finally

  • my spouse, Juliet, without whose support I would not have undertaken and completed my degree.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William; Crowder, Robert Bernard; Gauntlett, Douglas John; Gibbs, William James (Bill); Handcock, Don; Henderson, William Keith; Loewe, Fritz; Tucker, Gilbert Brian; Zillman, John William

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Gardner, J. 1997 'Stormy Weather: A History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 11 December 1997, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher