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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)

On the basis of his experience in the British Meteorological Office, in which an attempt to create a pool of research scientists to work on individual long-term projects, broke down because of the demands of a rapidly expanding organisation, Simpson[71] recommended against any such work being undertaken within the Bureau unless it was in connection with the application of new equipment and systems to the forecasting process. Instead, he strongly advocated transferring research to the University, on the grounds that the researchers could be left alone to pursue their individual lines of inquiry free from the daily exigencies of working for a utilitarian government organisation.

Whilst these findings may have been a true reflection of Sir George's feelings on the subject, it would be interesting to know whether or not they were in part affected by the Bureau's interactions with Simpson's Australian colleagues in the RRB referred to earlier. In this regard, Evans[27] states that other discussions that Simpson had during his visit to Australia did lead to the convening of the CSIR Atmospheric Research Committee, and ultimately the formation of the CSIR Meteorological Research Section in 1946, in seeming opposition to the Bureau's own post-war program.

There is no doubt, however, that the Simpson report laid the foundations for debate over the advisability or otherwise of a service department conducting its own in-house research instead of allowing a proper research organisation to fill this role. This dispute, which was to haunt the Bureau during its post-war quest for support and funding to conduct its own meteorological research program, became quite vigorous at times and has only recently been put to one side following the success of the Bureau's work in this area. Clearly, this is a most important question and the one which lies at the heart of my thesis.

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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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