Scientists and Colonists Bright Sparcs Exhibition Papers

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Science and the People
the Deepening Relationship

Despite the frailty of Australian science in the early nineteenth century, by the 1880s the south-eastern colonies were proudly proclaiming the strength and prosperity of the scientific enterprise. In the cities, and even in some towns, the institutions and activities of science were visible to all. Scientific societies met in their own buildings; museums of natural history, geology and mining adopted opening times that allowed working class citizens to visit; public lectures on chemistry, microscopes and forest management were given to full halls; and science columns ran regularly in the newspapers. Universities had been established in New South Wales and Victoria from the middle of the century [1] and by the last few decades they were including science in their curricula more frequently and more ably. The community was becoming increasingly involved in science. The people of the scientific societies welcomed this interest and sought to encourage further public involvement.

This support for science was new. Early in the century, the general community had been largely uninterested in science. The few people who had wanted to practise science as a career in the colonies had usually needed to work for British patrons. Metropolitan scientists such as Joseph Banks, Richard Owens, William Hooker, and John Gould employed colonial collectors [2]. Kew Gardens and the British Museum occasionally employed colonists to collect the seeds, leaves, flowers and skins of antipodean curiosities [3].

At this early stage colonial funding for science was rare. Some government astronomers and geologists were employed to carry out the practical tasks of recording the weather and locating minerals. Yet even these posts were chronically short of funds [4]. On the whole the citizens of young colonies were not prepared to be taxed to fund any branch of science that did not promise immediate practical returns [5].

Later in the century there were still some who begrudged financial support for science. One politician said, in response to a scientistıs request for some funding of 'pure science', that if it 'didn't affect the price of beef and mutton', he wouldn't 'spend a shilling on it' [6]. Nevertheless, once the colonies became more prosperous and ambitious after the gold rushes of the 1850s and the arrival of responsible government, colonial legislatures were more willing to vote funds for a museum or for the publication of a Royal Society journal. Scientists were still earning less than a bullock driver by the end of the century [7], but it was a change to be paid at all and it was gratifying to be given more frequent government assistance [8].

The scientific establishment grew throughout the century and with it the need for scientists within the new industries, universities, government observatories and geological surveys [9]. During the last two decades of the century there was a total of about one hundred scientists in the government departments and universities [10].

Up until the 1850s, the majority of colonists found the subject of science esoteric and uninteresting [11]. This evaluation had been common in Britain and Europe through previous centuries. Nevertheless, around the beginning of the nineteenth century, changes made in Britain and Europe to the accessibility and desirability of scientific pursuits were attracting many people to pursue science in their leisure hours [12]. Linnaeus had introduced an easier system for classifying plants and animals [13]. Printing had become quicker and cheaper, allowing scientific knowledge to be diffused throughout society [14]. The industrial revolution prompted an interest in science - applied science in particular - as people sought to understand the rapid technological changes that were occurring all around [15]. At the same time, the natural world was becoming increasingly tamed and less threatening than in previous ages. It was more amenable to study [16].

Further, a relatively new middle class had begun to form in Britain after the industrial revolution brought changed work relationships [17]. The members of this class found they had time to spare, and needed a respectable pastime. Natural history - the study of plants, animals, rocks and fossils - was rational, useful and morally uplifting [18]. It thus became a remarkably popular pursuit [19]. Throughout Britain and Europe doctors, lawyers, churchmen and clerks, along with their wives and children, took to botany, ornithology, entomology, or conchology. With a popularity that amounted to crazes, household aquariums, terrariums and specimen cases were built to house the collected fish, ferns, birds, and butterflies [20].

Those who were employed as scientists in Britain and Europe were encouraged by the growing popular interest and, seeing benefits within wider public participation, worked to present science to the growing audience. They improved museums, wrote popular science texts and gave lectures [21]. While the premier scientific society, the Royal Society of London, did not play much part in the increasing popularisation of science [22], there were plenty of professional and amateur scientists who were keen to set up their own societies for naturalists or astronomers. T. H. Huxley and John Tyndall, both distinguished scientists, were enthusiastic about educating the populace in science, and wrote and spoke to a popular audience [23]. Whether at home or on the lecture circuit in America [24], they drew massive audiences and much press attention. These popularisers of science stimulated further public involvement and encouraged colonial scientists to do the same [25].

As we shall see, many scientists, along with other middle class people, were concerned about the material prosperity of the colonies and the intellectual and moral character of the colonists. In searching for a way to improve these conditions, they followed the lead of the British back 'home', working to advance science and make the pursuit of science and other intellectual activities more accessible. Schools, universities, libraries and museums were established. Scientific societies and publications for a popular audience were established.

The colonists were seeing more and more the benefits that science could bring to themselves and the colonies. Exhibitions displaying local resources and accomplishments to an intercolonial as well as an international audience drew the attention of each colony to the flourishing state of their local endeavours in science and its associate technology [26]. The rising living standards from mid-century were allowing colonists more time and money to spare on scientific pursuits. Science was also becoming a subject that had a deeper impact on ways of thinking. One issue in particular riveted attention across the colonies, exciting debates and shaking ancient beliefs. Darwin's Origin of Species , the book that brought the speculation over evolution to a crescendo, arrived in Sydney in 1860. Fundamental beliefs about the creation of the Earth and humankind, and the relationship of man to nature, needed to be reassessed and redefined or defended. Even as late as 1887 it could be said that:

...the united labours of astronomers, geologists, and biologists have impressed [evolution] so deeply upon the public mind, that whether it be in newspapers, sermon, lecture, or ordinary conversation, our thoughts and words are tinged and flavoured with it. [27]

Science could no longer be dismissed as a subject for savants.

Having been made relevant and accessible, science thus became an increasingly interesting subject [28]. In 1882 the president of the Royal Society of Victoria, R.L.J. Ellery, said that the Society members

must have noted a growing desire in the community to become more familiar with the sciences and with the arts. New societies and schools have sprung up, and are flourishing, not only in Melbourne, but also in the country towns. The older societies are expanding..., and the working classes are evincing a genuine and earnest desire to obtain the teachings of sciences as aids to their handicrafts.[29]

As a part of these changes, the colonial scientific community itself altered dramatically. The scientific societies of the first half of the century had lived a tenuous existence. Started by a learned gentleman or two, joined by several more, the societies met regularly for a year or so, put together papers on local flora and fauna and the problems of urban sanitation, then petered out. While they were occasionally supported by enthusiastic governors [30], the early scientific societies of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania had little internal unity or external influence [31].

The members of the early Societies had occupied themselves chiefly with investigating the new environment and the politics of their own group. Little was said about the rest of the community. For example, ten Sydney gentlemen with scientific interests decided to form the Philosophical Society of Australasia in 1821. This was to be typical of early scientific societies in other colonies. Judging by the minutes kept for 1821, besides reading some papers [32], the members discussed Society rules and the fines each of them had accrued by missing meetings or failing to give a paper when rostered to do so. A few other matters were raised; petitions to be made to prominent men asking for patronage, and the erection of a plaque to commemorate Captain Cook's landing [33]. In a letter introducing themselves to foreign scientific societies, the members acknowledged the work that would be required before their enquiries into the field of natural history could 'be given with due consideration and advantage to the public.' [34] Other than this, the members of the Philosophical Society did not note the interests or needs of the wider community.

By the 1840s more signs of interest in the relationship between scientists and the wider community were appearing. Some scientists still wanted to be exclusive; a letter written around 1850 by W.S. Macleay to W.B. Clarke, (a high office-holder in the Royal Society of New South Wales, geologist, and clergyman), shows a scientific man happy to be isolated from the wider community. Macleay proposed establishing a scientific society with no more than ten or twelve members. He felt that 'some principle of selection' of members was 'requisite since nothing lasting of this kind was ever effected except upon the exclusive principle.' [35]

Nevertheless, other scientists in the Societies were more inclined to openness. As Ann Mozley Moyal has noted, W.B. Clarke saw science as a valuable subject for the public to study. Writing articles and editorials for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian through the 1840s, Clarke 'inveighed against the intellectual apathy of the colony and sought to alert public interest in the findings of science.' He was 'openminded in his concern for a scientific culture and eager that local investigators should diffuse the knowledge they had...' [36]. He established a network of collectors across the colony, and these people sent him geological samples from their local area [37].

The Reverend Dr. Lillie in Tasmania would have approved of W.B. Clarke's efforts. Through the 1840s the members of the Tasmanian Society [38] sought solutions to Hobart's sewerage problems and other matters of public importance. They also aimed, wrote Lillie, 'to incite and cherish a kindred spirit of inquiry among their fellow colonists.' [39] Thus, both the Reverend Clarke and Lillie were early enthusiasts for public involvement in science. Their enthusiasm, rare early in the century, would become increasingly common.

Mid-century saw Royal Societies established in Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria [40]. The records of these Societies throughout the 1850s, '60s and '70s reveal a moderate level of interest in the wider community, similar to that which Clarke and Lillie had encouraged in the 1840s. The long-serving President of the Royal Society of Victoria, R.L.J. Ellery, noted several times throughout the 1870s the value that was obtained for the Society 'whenever the public interest is gained.' [41] He also instituted lower subscription rates for country members and meetings of a more social character in order to secure wider participation in the Society [42]. W.B. Clarke maintained his efforts to encourage wider participation in the pursuit of science [43].

During the 1880s and 1890s the Royal Societies continued to expand their research activities and develop the museums and educational facilities under their directorship. Membership grew. Members included the handful of people who were employed as government scientists, clergymen, bankers, or gas board workers [44], who were simply interested in science or were pursuing science in their spare time. The active members worked as researchers and presenters of science. Observing the heavens and the weather and collecting specimens of the animals, plants and minerals of Australia were of initial importance. Practical problems of water and electricity supply, disposal of waste and control of disease were tackled with apparent enthusiasm and pride. Journals were exchanged with scientific societies in Britain, Europe and America. The less active members, along with sympathetic lay citizens, donated funds for building projects or exploration.

The men who acted as presidents and vice-presidents of the three Royal Societies over the 1880s and 1890s were prominent within the colonies. They included the colony's only astronomer, its geologist, its science professor and Director of the botanic gardens. They often held office in their local Royal Society for more than one year. They also supplied the AAAS with its regional presidents from the time of its inception in 1888.

The presidents (specifically those who spoke most often of the wider community) had many characteristics in common. Most had grown up in Britain. Most had received at least one university degree. Most had earned fellowships in various scientific societies; some had earned medals as well. They were employed by colonial governments.

Increasingly throughout the 1880s and particularly during the 1890s, the presidents spoke about the public and the role of science in society. They noted that science was being brought to the public more than before. Museums, lectures, text books, magazines and newspapers were being prepared by scientists to present the different branches of science to the wider community in the most effective way. Suggestions were given for how science should be brought to the community. The benefits that would spring from such actions were expounded with enthusiasm and with fervent appeal to the listener's feelings of duty, the need for advancing intellectual and moral standards, the colony itself, and the progress of all humanity.

Throughout the early 1880s, Ellery continued to note the benefits of community involvement in science in his addresses to the Royal Society of Victoria. In 1882 he was sure the members would 'note with satisfaction' [58] that sufficient funds to build a Mechanics Institute had been raised amongst workers and donated by sympathetic Melbournians. In 1884 Ellery was confident that his audience would 'be pleased to hear' of the success of the Field Naturalist's Club of Victoria in attracting a large number of members, including six women. Ellery hoped the six ladies 'would soon become sixty; not in age but in number' [59].

Ellery's successor, Professor Kernot, continued this interest. He applauded such things as the museums, libraries, chemical laboratories, the 'meteorological observatory, field lectures on geology, and popular science lectures' being set up at the School of Mines at Ballarat and at Sandhurst. Kernot hoped that 'every large centre of population' would soon establish 'a similar institution for the purpose of imparting reliable information on scientific subjects of practical importance.' [60] Broader participation in the pursuit of scientific observation and collection, as well as in scientific and technical education, was good news.

The diverse parts of the Australian scientific enterprise found greater unity and new strength from 1888 when Archibald Liversidge and his supporters formed the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science (later to become ANZAAS) [61]. It was formed with sections for each branch of the sciences from mathematics and physics through to the new social sciences. Patterned on the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the AAAS was a national organisation. With members from each colony and meetings rotating from capital to capital.With a popularity that was to become typical, the first meeting in 1888 brought 850 members to Sydney [62], and was met by an enthusiastic press [63].

The presidents of the AAAS were particularly directed towards encouraging broad public involvement. One of the aims written into the Association's constitution was 'to obtain a more general attention to the objects of Science.' [64] Evening lectures were given to allow workers the chance to attend [65]. Excursions were held that were 'less scientifically exacting' than usual [66]. More fundamentally, the founders 'appealed to the public through the daily papers of all the colonies, very frequently by advertisement and paragraph,' to join the association [67]. They also requested that those who intended to join submit their names 'so that they might be eligible for election to the official positions.' [68] Appealing to the public through the press to join the Association was a far cry from W.S. Macleay's assurance in the early 1850s that when establishing a scientific society nothing lasting could be established 'except upon the exclusive principle.'

All these statements and activities showed that the Association was keen to proclaim itself an open-minded, liberal body, up-to-date with democratic trends. Sir James Hector, president of the AAAS in 1891 saw the impetus of the Association 'removing science from the pursuit only of the few, and marking the democracy of knowledge...' [69].

The presidents of the AAAS were not the only ones to wish for a broader base for science. William Benson, a member of the Royal Society of Tasmania not actively pursuing science but committed to its progress, gave a paper in 1889 'On the Encouragement of a More General Interest in Scientific Pursuits' [70]. He wanted to 'see the rising generation more interested' than they seemed to be 'in the physical history of their native colony, its fauna and fauna, and so forth.' While he was aware that not everybody's 'tastes and talents' were directed towards science, he felt that 'good only can result from any effort that may be made to encourage and develop...a love [of scientific pursuits] wherever its germ exists...' [71]. In this way, he hoped, the Society would be able to find in the long run 'a wider circle of contributors and papers, embodying more varied original researches.' [72] Benson was aware that the facilities for studying science were not as numerous in the colonies as in England. Special efforts had to be made by scientists in the colonies. He suggested that school texts on local science be written, Field Naturalist's Clubs be encouraged, and courses of popular science lectures be given by the Society, as Society meetings tended to be too technical and beyond the interest or comprehension of most people. At the conclusion of his speech, eight members added their own ideas about acting on Benson's suggestions, with which they were 'heartily' in accord [73].

During the 1890s, the presidents of the Royal Society of New South Wales and the AAAS became increasingly insistent in their calls to involve the wider community in science. The Royal Society of Victoria had stopped publishing presidential addresses and the Royal Society of Tasmania included addresses only occasionally. However, the score or so addresses that were published by the New South Wales society and the AAAS during the 1890s all mention the public in some way. Sometimes there are simple statements of the degree of public interest in the local museum or a school of technology. Others go further. Baron F. von Mueller acknowledged that the AAAS could not expect, as one probably could in Europe, every member to be active in science, but believed the Association would 'joyously and gratefully' welcome laymen interested in science to lend encouragement [74]. Archibald Liversidge talked of the great assistance that any person, regardless of training, could give as a scientific observer and collector [75].

Sir Robert Hamilton and Henry Deane were not merely interested but particularly concerned to secure greater public involvement in science. The larger part of their addresses was devoted to proclaiming the values of such a relationship and suggesting plans of action in order to secure it.

Sir R.G.C. Hamilton told the members gathered for the 1892 AAAS Hobart congress about the relationship of early Tasmanian scientific societies to the wider community. He offered the early efforts of the Reverend Dr. Lillie to popularising science as an example that should be followed by the Association [76]. The AAAS members, said Hamilton, especially those who were not active 'workers in science' [77], had a duty to work to 'obtain more general and wider attention' to the objects of science, and to 'secure advantages of a public kind which may facilitate it.' [78]

Hamilton explained several methods by which the members could obtain that wider attention. Encouraging scientific work - by showing 'sympathy and support', by becoming members and attending the meetings of existing scientific societies of one's own colony - was valuable [79]. Keeping the Society 'before the public', and giving reports of meetings to the press had already been effective for awakening a surprising amount of interest, 'which shows itself in the form of questions and letters from all parts of the country.' [80] Other methods were described, including disseminating knowledge of the sciences via schools, lectures, and museums [81]. All of these methods of making science available were highly valuable, Hamilton said, because the advantages of scientific knowledge to those who pursued it were many and great.

The address Henry Deane gave to the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1898 showed him to be equally sure of the benefits the public could gain by coming into contact with science. He was exasperated by what he saw as the attitude common in the wider community, that science was irrelevant: 'a collection of fads, an unreality, an unpractical occupation that is rather contemptible than otherwise', or 'very abstruse, and beyond their comprehension.' [82]

Science, he argued, 'embraces all real knowledge' [83]. He felt it to be impossible that 'any man or woman with any claim to intelligence' could not find something of interest within the broad range of scientific subjects. Nor should anyone like to acknowledge that all the diverse subjects dealt with by the scientific societies were beyond their comprehension. 'If only they took an active interest' in one of the subjects, 'they might help' the cause of science [84].

In this Nineteenth Century when the quality and cheapness of everything we use is so much the result of scientific thought and discovery, people ought to be better informed. Can they not be taught? Would it be possible to make a regular practice of giving public lectures? Could societies for the study of science at instituted? And is it possible not only to help educated people but the great masses of the people to learn something of the secrets of science? I think all these questions can be answered in the affirmative, and that we as members of the premier scientific society of this colony, should do something more to bring about a better state of things. [85]

After the turn of the century the intensity of the concern to involve the public in science waned. Perhaps the pleas of the 1890s had been successful. Perhaps the methods of presenting science through educational institutions and amusements had proved fruitful and more people were choosing to take up science as a pastime or a career. Perhaps science had begun the process of specialisation; scientists may have felt that it was not possible for people lacking careful, detailed training to contribute anything worthwhile. Calls to improve scientific teaching at universities, technical colleges and schools continued to be published in the journals of the Societies. The 'Mental Science and Education' Section of the AAAS continued to draw papers. But presidential discourses on the need for and value of public involvement were scarcely to be seen. Henry Deane gave his next address in 1908 [86]. He discussed railways.

Thus, we can see that throughout the nineteenth century it was increasingly common for presidents of scientific societies to discuss the relationship between science and the wider community. They discussed public perceptions of science, the type of activities members of the public were already deciding to become involved in, and declared how good it would be if the public were to involve themselves in science more deeply.

Why did these men of science see public involvement as being so valuable? They did not, as persons rarely do, identify their own motives or the basic convictions underlying their recommendations. However, they did state the benefits that they saw arising from public involvement. Such benefits were described frequently, and in detail. The terms used were remarkably consistent. What emerges from a study of these descriptions is both illuminating and intriguing.

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[1] The University of Sydney was opened in 1852. Melbourne University followed in 1855. Each had two chairs of science. Inkster and Todd, 'Support for the Scientific Enterprise', p.111; The University of Tasmania was opened later, in 1890. R. Davis, Open to Talent: the Centenary History of the University of Tasmania, 1890-1990, Hobart, 1970.
[2] See Mozley Moyal, Scientists in Nineteenth Century Australia, chapter one 'Patrons and Potentates', pp.10-38; chapter two 'The Botanical Tradition', pp. 39-59, and chapter three, 'The Bizarre World of Natural History', pp.60-86.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Mozley Moyal, Scientists in Nineteenth Century Australia, pp.154-155 re. meteorology, p. 140 re. prospecting. On the frustrations colonial geologists faced, see also T. Darragh, 'The Geological Survey of Victoria under Alfred Selwyn, 1852-1868', HRAS, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1987, pp.1-26.
[5] For instance, the Sydney Monitor, in 1833 said: 'Zoology, Mineralogy and Astronomy and Botany and other sciences are all very good things but we have no great opinion of an infantile people being taxed to promote them.' Mozley Moyal, Scientists in Nineteenth Century Australia, p.107.
[6] H.C. Russell, B.A., C.M.G., F.R.S., 'Inaugural Address', Report of the First Meeting of the AAAS, Sydney, 1888, pp. 8-14, p.13.
[7] The Athenaeum 13 November 1875, referred to by MacLeod 'Organizing Science under the Southern Cross', p. 23.
[8] See, for instance, Inkster and Todd, 'Support for the Scientific Enterprise', p.116.
[9] Inkster and Todd, 'Support for the Scientific Enterprise', p.111-112.
[10] MacLeod, 'From Imperial to National Science', pp.49-50.
[11] Cf. Jack, 'Cultural Transmission'.
[12] Cf. Barber, Heyday of Natural History, and Allen, The Naturalist in Britain.
[13] The value of his system was quickly recognised and it replaced the tangled, forever-changing, classifications of strings of Latin names that had been in vogue before. Studying plants and animals was made less of a headache, and many more people felt they could 'keep abreast of science', at least in the field of natural history. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, pp. 38-39, pp.40-43, quote from p.42.
[14] Knight, The Age of Science, p.2.
[15] P. Mathias, 'Who Unbound Prometheus? Science and Technical Change, 1600-1800', in P. Mathias (ed.), Science and Society 1600-1900, Cambridge, 1972, pp. 54-80, p.80, and M. Berman, regarding the new curiosity in science felt by English aristocrats in particular.: ³Hegemony² and the Amateur Tradition in British Science', in Journal of Social History, winter 1975, pp.30-50, p.36.
[16] Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p.27.
[17] 'By the 1830s, the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain had created new classes...'; S. Schweber, 'Scientists as Intellectuals: The Early Victorians', in J. Paradis and T. Postlewait (eds), Victorian Science and Victorian Values: Literary Perspectives, New Jersey, 1985, pp.1-38, p.5.
[18] Natural history also, says D. Allen, gave middle-class people a chance to 'unbutton' and escape from the gravity of everyday life. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p.83.
[19] Barber, Heyday of Natural History, pp. 16-26.
[20] See C. Kingsley, Glaucus; or, Wonders of the Shore, London, first edition 1855, fifth edition, eighth reprint 1903, p.4, and Barber, The Heyday of Natural History, p.13-14. Barber's ninth chapter, 'The Naturalist of the Boudoir',pp.125-138, covers the role of women in British natural history. Along with contributing more sustained and tangible work to natural history, the collecting crazes were 'almost entirely sustained' by women; p.125.
[21] Cf. J.N. Hays, 'The London lecturing empire, 1800-50', in I. Inkster and J. Morrell, Metropolis and Province, Science in British Culture, 1780-1850, London, 1983, pp.91-119.
[22] When the Royal Society of London decided they needed to promote science by disseminating scientific knowledge more widely, the method they chose was to distribute its Philosophical Transactions to scientific societies in Britain and overseas. M.Boas Hall, All Scientists Now: The Royal Society in the Ninteenth Century, New York, 1983, p.151.
[23] F.M. Turner, 'Victorian Scientific Naturalism', in C.Chant and J. Fauvel (eds), Darwin to Einstein; Historical Studies on Science and Belief, Harlow, Essex, 1980 ,pp.47-69, pp. 50-51. For instance, Huxley gave and published lectures of which Six Lectures to Working Men, 1863, and Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews, 1870 are just two examples. Tyndall wrote works such as Fragments of Science for Unscientific People, which went through many editions. D.M. Knight, Natural Science Books in English 1600-1900, London, 1972, pp. 156, 183, 201.
[24] Letter from James Dwight Dana, New Haven, to the Rev. W.B. Clarke, 25 January 1873: 'Professor Tyndall has just been delighting a large audience in this city with two beautiful lectures on Light...During the two or three months he has been in the country he has lectured 35 times.' W.B. Clarke Papers, Series 1: Correspondence 1842-1876, Adolf Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science, MS 28.
[25] A.Liversidge ,M.A., L.L.D., F.R.S., quoted Huxley at length in his 'Anniversary Address', Journal and Proc. Royal Soc. NSW, 1886, pp. 1-41, pp.20-3, and W. Benson, when giving a paper 'On the Encouragement of a More General Interest in Scientific Pursuits' said that as Huxley and Tyndall were popularising science, the members of the Tasmanian Royal Society need not fear that any efforts they made would be infra dig. Papers and Proc. of the Royal Soc. of Tas., 1889, pp.13-16, p.16, and T.P. Anderson, M.D., recognised Tyndall's contribution: 'to him is due much of that general interest in science which is a feature of our times.' 'Anniversary Address', Journ. and Proc. Royal Soc. NSW, 1894, p.35-6.
[26] 'Major exhibitions were held in Sydney in 1851, 1870, and 1879; Melbourne in 1866, 1880, and 1888; Brisbane in 1876 and 1897; Adelaide in 1881 and 1887; Perth in 1881; Launceston in 1891; and Hobart in 1894; Cannon, Life in the Cities p.97.
[27] W.C. Kernot, Professor, M.A., C.E., Trans. and Proc. Royal Soc. Vic. , 1887, pp. i - xxii, p.xx.
[28] M. Cannon, section III, 'The Triumph of Science', especially chapter 8, 'Science Comes as a Friend',Life in the Cities, and Kingston, Oxford History, p.91-92.
[29] R.L.J. Ellery, F.R.S., F.R.A.S., 'President's Address', Trans. and Proc. of the Royal Soc. of Vic., Melbourne, 1882, pp.xi-xxvi, p.xii-xiii.
[30] Mozley Moyal, Scientists in Nineteenth Century Australia, p.107.
[31] Cf. Hoare, 'Botany and Society', in Carr and Carr, People and Plants, pp.183-219.
[32] Baron Field, Esq. gave a paper on Aborigines, Captain Philip Parker King, R.N. spoke on Australian Maritime Geography, Alexander Berry spoke on local coastal geology and Dr. Rumker on Astronomy. Rev W.B. Clarke, M.A, F.G.S, &C., 'Anniversary Address',Trans. and Proc. Royal Soc. NSW [Vol 1-3: 1867-9], 1867, p.12.
[33] Minutes of the Philosophical Society of Australasia, 26 September 1821, in Royal Society of NSW, Commemoration of Centenary of the Philosophical Society of Australasia, Sydney,1921, pp. 69-74.
[34] Proposed letter to introduce the Society to foreign scientific societies, ibid., p.lxix.
[35] W.S. Macleay to W.B. Clarke, c. 1850-1 (undated), W.B. Clarke Papers, Mitchell Library, reproduced in Mozley Moyal, Scientists in Nineteenth Century Australia, p.114.
[36] Mozley Moyal, ibid., p.108.
[37] Ibid., p.155.
[38] They were men occupied with 'professional and other necessary duties', who had been impelled by the novelty of their surroundings to 'devote a few of their leisure moments to the study of external Nature'. Rev.Dr. Lillie, quoted by Sir. R.G.C. Hamilton, K.C.B., L.L.D., Report of the Fourth Meeting of the AAAS, Hobart, 1892, pp. 1-30, p.6.
[39] Rev. Dr. Lillie, in the Journal of the Tasmanian Society, 1842, quoted by Hamilton, ibid., p.6.
[40] The Royal Society of Tasmania (for Horticulture , Botany and the Advancement of Science), was formed from an amalgamation of smaller societies in 1844 . Similarly, the Philosophical society of Victoria and the Philosophical Institute of Victoria amalgamated in 1859 to form the colony's Royal Society. The Philosophical society of New South Wales, which was founded in 1850, received Royal endorsement in 1866. D.F. Branagan, 'Words, Actions, People,150 Years of Scientific Societies in Australia', Journ. and Proc. Royal Soc. NSW, Vol. 104, 1972, pp.123-141, pp.129, 131, 137-9, and MacLeod 'Organizing Science under the Southern Cross', p.20.
[41] Ellery, Trans. and Proc. Royal Soc. Vic., 1873, p. xxiii.
[42] Ibid., 1873, p.xxiv , 1878, p. xv, and 1879, p.xii.
[43] For example, W.B. Clarke felt that those people 'who stand aloof', from the Royal Society should involve themselves in science and 'aid us in our honourable endeavours to do a little good in our generation and day', Trans. Royal Soc. NSW, 1875, p 2-3.
[44] See membership lists, in each volume of the Royal Society's Journal or Transactions, also see Inkster and Todd, who have noted the occupations of Society members in 'Support for the Scientific Enterprise',p.113.
[45] S.C.B. Gascoigne, 'Ellery, Robert Lewis John',ADB, Vol.4, pp.135-7, p.135.
[46] S. Murray-Smith, 'Kernot, William Charles', ADB, Vol. 5, pp.20-22.
[47] M. Hoare, 'Wilkinson, Charles Smith',ADB, Vol. 6, p.402-3.
[48] G.P. Walsh, 'Leibius, Charles (Carl) Adolph', ADB, Vol.5, p.79.
[49] D. Morris, 'Mueller, Baron Sir Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von',ADB, Vol. 5, pp.306-8.
[50] G.C. Fendley, 'McCoy, Sir Frederick',ADB, Vol.5, pp.134-136.
[51] G.P. Walsh, 'Russell, Henry Chamberlain',ADB, Vol. 6, pp.74-75.
[52] M. Lyons and C.J. Pettigrew, 'Maiden, Joseph Henry',ADB, Vol. 10, pp.381-3.
[53] S. Bambrick, 'Knibbs, Sir George Handley',ADB, Vol. 9, pp.620-1.
[54] D.P. Mellor, 'Liversidge, Archibald', ADB, Vol. 5, pp.93-4.
[55] R. Refshauge, 'Hamilton, Sir Robert George Crookshank', ADB, Vol. 4, pp.331-2.
[56] J.D. Walker, ' Deane, Henry',ADB, Vol.8, pp.259-60.
[57] Deane Family Papers, Henry Deane, Series 4, National Library of Australia MS 610.
[58] Ellery, 'President's Address', Trans. and Proc. Royal Soc. Vic., 1882, p.xvi.
[59] Ibid., 1884, p.xv.
[60] Kernot, 'President's Address', Trans. and Proc. Royal Soc. Vic., 1885, p.xx.
[61] Macleod 'Organizing Science under the Southern Cross', especially pp. 23-35.
[62] For yearly membership of the AAAS see 'Appendix 5; Attendance at AAAS (ANZAAS) Congresses', pp. 377-8, MacLeod,The Commonwealth of Science, p.377.
[63] MacLeod 'Organizing Science under the Southern Cross' and 'From Imperial to National Science', pp.20, 53.
[64] AAAS, 'Objects and Rules of the Association', Report First Meeting AAAS, Sydney, 1888, p. xvi.
[65] Roy MacLeod says that these evening lectures for working men 'were not a success' 'From Imperial to National Science', p.50. This is curious; presidents of the AAAS and Royal Societies reported that the evening lectures had been well received. For example, Deane said that the working men's lectures,'having proved a success' were 'an example worthy of being followed in the future.', 'Anniversary Address', Trans. and Proc. Royal Soc. NSW, 1898, p.42. The Sydney Morning Herald, when discussing AAAS meetings over its first decade, said that 'The evening lectures are usually both able and interesting', 'Science in Australia', 7 January 1898.
[66] Hoare, Science and Scientific Associations, p.314.
[67] 'The result', said Russell, 'is that today our numbers are 750', which, he thought, was 'very satisfactory and encouraging.' Advertisements continued through the week and a further eighty people decided to join. Russell, 'Inaugural Address', Report First Meeting AAAS, Sydney, 1888, p.10.
[68] Ibid., p.9.
[69] Sir J. Hector, M.D, K.C.M.G., F.R.S., 'Inaugural Address', Report of the Third Meeting of the AAAS, Christchurch, 1891, pp. 1-21, p.2.
[70] Benson, Papers and Proc. Royal Soc. Tas., 1889, pp.13-16.
[71] Ibid. p.14.
[72] Ibid., p.15.
[73] 'Discussion', following Benson's paper, ibid., pp. 16-17.
[74] Baron F. von Mueller, K.C.M.G., F.R.S., M. & Ph.D., &c., 'Inaugural Address', Report of the Second Meeting of the AAAS, 1890, pp.1-26, p.2-3.
[75] Liversidge, 'Anniversary Address' Journ. and Proc. Royal Soc. NSW, 1890, p.33.
[76] Hamilton, 'Inaugural Address', Report Fourth Meeting AAAS, Hobart, 1892, p.7.
[77] But who were 'deeply impressed by the importance and necessity of its advancement' and followed its 'triumphs with interest and delight', ibid., p.25.
[78] Ibid., pp.25-6.
[79] Ibid., p.26.
[80] Ibid.
[81] Ibid., pp.27-28.
[82] Deane, 'Anniversary Address', Journ. and Proc. Royal Soc. NSW, Sydney, 1890, p.45.
[83] Ibid.
[84] Ibid., p.46.
[85] Ibid., p.47.
[86] Deane, 'Anniversary Address', Journ. and Proc. Royal Soc. NSW, Sydney, 1908, pp.1-33.

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Honours Thesis submitted by Jenny Newell, Australian National University, June 1992.
Published with permission by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 5 January 1998
Comments or corrections to: Bright Sparcs (
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 19 February 1998

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