Page 748
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
Table of Contents

History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology




Chapter 1: Germination and Growth
The First Three Decades
A Time of Rapid 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



Contact us
The Struggle for Growth (continued)

Despite these strong recommendations, Hunt proposed that the issue of physical research be postponed until a future conference on the subject. His reasons were, firstly, the budget; there would be little chance of obtaining the necessary funds, especially in light of the capital required to establish a proper observational network. Secondly, he pointed out that the instruments necessary for the investigation of the upper levels of the atmosphere were still only experimental at that stage. Hunt's third consideration was that, owing to the relative newness of the research work in this field being undertaken in both the United States and England, it was inadvisable for Australia to devise a plan of action until someone from the Bureau, namely himself, had had the opportunity to personally inspect the situation overseas (Department of Home Affairs [26]).

Because of these objections, work in this area was left in abeyance for a number of years, until suitable staff and equipment could be obtained. Thus, an excellent opportunity was missed to start the Bureau off on a sound scientific basis due to a lack of proper financial support and recognition from the government of the day. In the light of the later events, it may also be suggested that Hunt's lack of a more research oriented background may have played some part in this delay (see next section).

However, Hunt's objections did not rule out the possibility of climatological research, his own particular area of interest, being supported by the Bureau. Indeed, the conference strongly endorsed the preparation of climatological records to assist in the better understanding of the Australian climate and, in particular, as one means of investigating the droughts, floods and tornadoes which affected this continent (Department of Home Affairs [26]). It seems highly likely that the appointment of T. Griffith Taylor, a former 1851 Exhibition Science Research Scholar, to the position of physiographer with the Bureau, was the major result of this recommendation.

Hunt's next major task was to embark upon an eight month tour of inspection of the main overseas weather bureaux in America, Europe and Asia to personally survey the operation of each with a view to adopting their practices for use within his own organisation. On his return, he made a number of recommendations to the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the organisation of the Bureau and the manner in which it should proceed on its task (Hunt [40]).

People in Bright Sparcs - Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Taylor, Thomas Griffith

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

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