||Science and the making of Victoria
Table of Contents
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
Philosophical Society of Victoria (continued)
Their report, when presented to the following meeting, formulated a policy of exploration which placed the Society, and later the Royal Society of Victoria, in the pioneering field of this important stage of development of a new country. It is well to record, in some detail, the resolutions of this sub-committee which were unanimously adopted by the general meeting of the Society held on 18 September 1854, as they formed the basis for the organization of later exploration parties, including the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. The resolutions were as follows:
To assist with the proposed exploration parties, a public appeal was opened by the Society in September 1854, with contributions to be forwarded to either the Museum of Natural History or the offices of the Victorian Vineyard and Fruit Garden Company. It is not clear what connection this latter organization had with either the Philosophical Society or the proposed exploration party. The immediate response to this was not encouraging.
The November 1854 monthly meeting must always stand out in the history of the Society for two decisions that were made. The council was instructed to carry out(a) the preparation of petitions to His Excellency the Lt-Governor and to the Honourable the Legislative Council to assist in the carrying out of exploration, and (b) the preparation of the form of application for the incorporation of the Society by a Royal Charter.
The first of these decisions was apparently implemented at once as, in December 1854, a copy of the prepared memorial was despatched from the Museum of Natural History by the secretary of the Society to the Private Secretary of the Lt-Governor. The reaction to this memorial, however, was unfavourable as not only did the Lt-Governor refuse to receive the deputation from the Society but 'he regrets that the insufficiency of the public funds to meet the public requirements renders it imperative upon him to stay every possible expenses, but that with regard to gold, the numerous prospecting parties (which are searching the length and breadth of the land), in the Lieutenant-Governor's opinion, fully encompass the end sought by the Society; whilst with regard to coal, it is reported that the fields at Western Port are sufficient to last a generation'.
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Philosophical Institute of Victoria; Philosophical Society of Victoria
People in Bright Sparcs - Burke, Robert O'Hara; Wills, William John
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