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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



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Civilian Expansion (continued)

Meteorology was covered in Recommendation V of the report. In summary, this stated that a Reader in Meteorology should be appointed to provide research into aeronautical meteorology.

The Lyons Government accepted the recommendations and decided to establish the School at the University of Melbourne, with an initial grant of £4000 plus £1500 per annum for maintenance, on the grounds that the Bureau was in Melbourne and the University was already teaching second and third year meteorology (BOM [9]). This latter claim may not have been quite correct as the necessary amendments to the University's legislation had only been endorsed by the University of Melbourne Standing Committee of Convocation, in July that year (Uni of Melb [81]).

There was also the difficulty that no decisions had been made as to the lines of research and training which might be best pursued by the University and the Bureau, as the Wimperis report contained no suggestions at all on this matter. However, with this and Watt's imminent retirement in mind, Professors J. P. V. Madden and T. H. Laby approached David Rivett of the CSIR to invite Sir George Simpson, Director-General of the British Meteorological Office (and member of the British Radio Research Board), to Australia to enquire into the future of meteorology here (Evans [27]). Once he had arrived in Sydney, Simpson was officially requested by the then Minister for the Interior, J. McEwan (BOM [6]), to assist in determining:

  • the fields of research and training which could most appropriately be covered by the University and the Bureau, respectively;

  • the lines which should be adopted by each in pursuing research and training activities; and

  • the methods of cooperation and coordination calculated to ensure absence of duplication and the maximum use by each of the facilities which can be made available by the other.

People in Bright Sparcs - Laby, Thomas Howell; Watt, William Shand; Wimperis, H. E.

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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
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