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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
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Royal Society of Victoria 1854-1959


Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science

Philosophical Society of Victoria

Philosophical Institute of Victoria

Royal Society of Victoria



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Philosophical Society of Victoria (continued)

The enthusiasm of the members of this Society was apparent when it was unanimously decided that the monthly meetings should be held on the second Saturday of each month commencing at 7 p.m.

For the first year, every member was expected to pay £3.3.0 in fees without any entrance fee, but after the first 12 months an entrance fee of an additional £2.2.0 would be required of all new members.

Perhaps the most significant feature of the early activities of the Society was the very close link that existed between it and the then new-formed National Museum of Natural History. Apart from meeting monthly in the museum, the early constitution provided that 'the effects of the Society in books, specimens, models, of what kind soever shall be considered the property of the National Museum until otherwise ordered and resolved by the annual general meeting of the Society'. It is not an exaggeration to state that the early development of the National Museum resulted almost exclusively from the activities of the Philosophical Society.

It is not surprising that with men on the council like Captain Clarke, Surveyor-General; Dr Ferdinand von Mueller, Government Botanist; Mr W. Blandowski, Curator of the Natural History Museum; Mr A. Selwyn and Mr Brough Smyth, Geologists; men who had all participated in exploring work in the new colony, and with the gold rush vividly in their minds, one of the first activities the Society proposed was 'the organization of exploring expeditions for the purpose of prospecting in different parts of the colony, with a view to the development of its natural resources'. This project, presented to the monthly meeting of the Society held on 10 September 1854, was referred to a special sub-committee for detailed report.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Philosophical Society of Victoria

People in Bright Sparcs - Blandowski, Wilhelm; Clarke, Captain Andrew; Mueller, Dr Ferdinand; Selwyn, Alfred Richard Cecil; Smyth, Robert Brough

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Pescott, R. T. M. 1961 'The Royal Society of Victoria from then, 1854 to now, 1959', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, vol. 73, no. 7, pp. 1-40.

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