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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
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It is close to 150 years since the founding societies of the Royal Society of Victoria were established. Since their founding, the Royal Society has strongly promoted discovery through science and technology. Not only 'discovery' but dissemination of the results of scientific research through its learned journal, the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, such as John Mathew writing on the Koori rock art of the Victoria Range, Grampians (1897, vol. 9, pp 29-33).

Hence it is only appropriate that the Royal Society of Victoria should embrace the two online publications of the project 'Science and the making of Victoria' in this year of the centenary of the Federation of Australia. The online guide to the records of the Royal Society, the originals of which are held by the La Trobe manuscripts section of the State Library of Victoria, immediately makes these records more accessible in the public domain and compliments Pescott's history of the Society written in 1959.

The online exhibition provides histories and views of the Society from its inception to the present day. It captures the historical essence of Victoria, focusing on the role of the Society and science over the last 150 years. The Society has seen 64 presidencies. Early presidencies included those of Sir Redmond Barry, Baron Sir Ferdinand von Mueller and Sir Henry Barkly. Early volumes of the Proceedings and Transactions of the Society often included the transcriptions of robust debates on scientific matters. These provide considerable insights into the personalities involved - it is perhaps a shame that such debates are seldom recorded in the modern world of science.

Traditionally, the major public educational resource of the Society has been its published journal. Now, this website has provided an additional major resource of specific relevance to Victoria but also of national and international significance. It represents a landmark for the Society and provides a launch pad for the Society in defining its role in the third millennium AD.

President, 2001-2002

May 2001

People in Bright Sparcs - Archbold, Neil Wilfred; Barkly, Henry; Barry, Redmond; Mathew, John; Mueller, Dr Ferdinand

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