How astronomers focused the scope of their discussions: the formation of the Astronomical Society of Australia

Lomb, Nick (2015) How astronomers focused the scope of their discussions: the formation of the Astronomical Society of Australia. Historical Records of Australian Science, 26 (1). pp. 36-57. ISSN 0727-3061

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Scientific societies provide an important forum for scientists to meet and exchange ideas. In the early days of European settlement in Australia the few people interested in the sciences joined together to form such societies that embraced all their individual disciplines. From 1888 the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science with its different sections allowed a growing number of astronomers to share meetings only with researchers in the closely allied fields of mathematics and physics. Eventually, all three of these groups formed their own societies with the Astronomical Society of Australia being the last in 1966. Archival records are used to illustrate how the formation of the ASA came about and to establish the people involved. The makeup of Australian astronomy at that period and some of its research fields are looked at as well as the debates and discussions in the Society’s first year while its future structure and role were established.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 12 May 2015 05:56
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2016 03:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: early Australian scientific societies; astronomical conferences in Australia; Australian Mathematical Society; Australian Institute of Physics; National Committee of Astronomy; Astronomical Society of Australia
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020199 Astronomical and Space Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1071/HR14030

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