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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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Retrospect (continued)

Since 1985, then, the Bureau has had the best of both worlds. On the one hand, it collaborates nationally and internationally on questions of global meteorology. On the other, it has the ability to bring together well-trained scientists to investigate problems relating to the more immediate details of daily weather forecasting, as elaborated by forecasters with some scientific training of their own.

Finally, in answering the questions posed in the introduction to this thesis, it is suggested that a combination of internal and external factors influenced the Bureau in its transformation from Public Service backwater to a vital and independent force within international meteorology. It has been seen that in its early years Bureau policy and practice tended to be largely reactive in nature. Since the 1950s, however, it has been the combined efforts of a number of individuals within the organisation which have forced it to change, often in the face of strong and concerted opposition.

It has also been seen that the Bureau has dispelled any doubts sown by the Simpson report over the wisdom of having a research group within a service department, and has successfully insulated BMRC from the daily pressures inherent in running such a department. At the same time, it has encouraged the cross-fertilisation of ideas between working meteorologists and research scientists.

As one of the outside factors which have had an impact on the Bureau, CSIRO has itself been changed by this contact in that it could be argued that it may have been Taffy Bowen's experience of working with Bureau staff during the war which prompted him to urge his executive to move into the area of seasonal forecasting. This led to the formation of what was to later become Division of Atmospheric Research, itself now a major player in the fields of atmospheric and climate research. The prior existence of the Bureau somewhat restricted the range of research topics available to CSIRO scientists, although there was some overlap and corresponding rivalry in the periods both before the formation of the CMRC and ANMRC and following their disbandment.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre

People in Bright Sparcs - Bowen, Edward George (Taffy)

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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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