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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
The Struggle for Recognition
International Involvement
Local Cooperation
The Bureau Goes Solo

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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The Committee of Inquiry into the Bureau of Meteorology (continued)

In another finding, the Committee agreed that there was indeed a need for a major research effort within the Bureau. It felt, however, that the work could, and should, be better focussed on short-term problems in the Bureau's forecasting, warning and data services, "but with the capability to undertake research of a longer term nature directed towards the same ends". Whilst the Bureau was more than happy to accept these recommendations, ANMRC's then Officer-in-Charge, Reg Clarke[22], was less than impressed. He strongly believed that the Centre had functioned well as an independent entity and that its research effort would be threatened if that independence were to be weakened. And, bearing in mind the earlier behaviour of Bureau management and, to a lesser extent, that of the CSIRO towards the Centre, it would seem that his fears were not without foundation. In the event, Reg was quite right, these findings marked the beginning of the end for ANMRC.

On the other hand, two other inquiries into the operations of the CSIRO, the Birch Committee and the Womer Committee, both supported the continued operation of ANMRC. They found that it constituted a good example of the way in which two unrelated organisations could work together in the cause of science (Lonergan [53]).

Certainly, ANMRC and its predecessor had both gained excellent reputations nationally and internationally. It had achieved some significant breakthroughs with the work of a number of staff in the area of numerical model development and Graeme Kelly's research into the incorporation of satellite data into the everyday operation of the various numerical models (ANMRC [4]). And, despite the continuing disagreements at the top, all the responses I received remark on the excellent camaraderie between the research staff themselves, except perhaps towards the end when some of the institutional bitterness spilled over into the Centre itself (personal communication).

The 1979 Five-yearly Review of ANMRC also found in favour of the continued existence of the Centre, but even this strong endorsement was ultimately ignored (Lonergan [53]). At the same time, this Review noted the marked hostility within the Bureau towards the Centre (CSIRO [24]).

In his later article[53] surveying the history of ANMRC, Lonergan, a member of the Advisory Committee, suggested that the Chief of the Division of Atmospheric Physics, Tucker, was coming to the view that ANMRC was nearing the end of its useful life and that the new Director of Meteorology, Zillman, concurred in this opinion.

People in Bright Sparcs - Clarke, Reginald Henry; 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

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