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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
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The Royal Society's Place in Science


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The Royal Society's Place in Science (continued)

I don't know at what point we could say that the old days had gone and the specialist's day had arrived, but we must say at least that this has been true of all the present century.

Out of all this there came to be an extraordinary library. The Society prints the proceedings of its meetings with record of local work and sends its journals away in exchange for those from similar societies in other parts in the world, and in this way it gets journals that can't be got anywhere else in the state. And this uniqueness of our library becomes eventually embarrassing because we have not space to put things into or money to bind them.

One shouldn't be in any doubt that this patient recording of systematic facts in the natural sciences can be extremely important in practice. People concerned in gold mining or oilboring collect a lot of information about species of fossils and find that this is essential in guiding them into profitable strata. Or there is the matter of biological control of some pest. The systematic knowledge of local insects may be important locally and may also be important internationally. By the exchange of information by specialists in bodies like the Royal Society a country may eventually decide to import or export an insect or a disease organism to control a pest.

People in Bright Sparcs - Leeper, Geoffrey Winthrop

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Leeper, Geoffrey Winthrop 1960 'The Royal Society's Place in Science', typescript, Royal Society of Victoria papers, State Library of Victoria, MS 11663, item 35/6.

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