|By Adrian Jones|
|Third Section - First Drawer|
Exports for empireWith an economy dependent upon agricultural exports, it seemed appropriate that most of Australia's scientific research should be concentrated in areas related to primary industry, though government support was sometimes slow in coming. William Farrer's rescue of the wheat industry has entered our national mythology. CSIR, Australia's national research organisation, was established within this framework - mirroring the economic relationship with Britain. Just as Australia would concentrate on the production of raw materials, importing manufactured goods from Britain, so Australian science would focus on primary industry related research, importing theoretical developments. However, David Rivett, CSIR's visionary leader, always sought to balance such utilitarian work with fundamental research. In areas like wool research, Australia gradually moved beyond work focussed on the health of sheep, to sheep genetics and wool products - making international contributions in both areas.
Prepared by Tim Sherratt (Tim.Sherratt@asap.unimelb.edu.au)
for publication on ASAPWeb. Last modified 22 June 1997.