Historical Records of Australian Science Historical Records of Australian Science Society
The history of science, pure and applied, in Australia, New Zealand and the southwest Pacific

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Riding the waves: Professor TH Laby as Imperial scientist and radio visionary

Jennifer Bowen


Professor of Natural Philosophy Thomas Laby arrived at Melbourne University in 1915 and proceeded to earn a considerable reputation for the work he did in the physics laboratory. Laby was also energetic outside the university in the cause of imperial politics and greater public awareness of science. In addition, he developed a deep interest in radio, which offered opportunities for both scientific research and public education. This paper uncovers the early years of science broadcasting in Australia to show Laby’s remarkable grasp of a medium in its formative years, allied with his advocacy for the role of scientists in public debate.

HR17003  Accepted 07 May 2017

© Australian Academy of Science 2017