A Bright Sparcs Exhibition
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... while foreseen developments were well provided for, new developments might arise at any moment ...

Quoted in D.P. Mellor, Australia in the War of 1939-1945: The Role of Science and Industry, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1958, p. 247. AWM#6054 - 81.4 K

Australia's physicists were keen to offer their services to the nation.

In August 1939 (just before the declaration of war with Germany), the Australian Branch of the British Institute of Physics wrote to Prime Minister Menzies about mobilising the country's physics resources. T.H. Laby, the inaugural president, and A.D. Ross, the secretary, suggested that a committee of physicists be established to advise the Government in the coming war.

But what could the physicists actually do? There were few specific suggestions and a meeting between Laby, Ross, and members of the Departments of Supply and Defence brought a 'don't call us, we'll call you' type of response. Laby, a temperamental man, bided his time grumpily, critical of the Government's lack of foresight.

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 30 April 1997
Comments or corrections to: Bright Sparcs (bsparcs@asap.unimelb.edu.au)
Prepared by: Denise Sutherland and Elissa Tenkate
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 19 February 1998

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