How Astronomers Focused the Scope of their Discussions: The Formation of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Historical Records of Australian Science
26(1) 36 - 57
Published: 04 May 2015
AbstractScientific 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 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 (ASA) being the last in 1966. Archival records are used to illustrate how the formation of the ASA came about and to identify 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.
© Australian Academy of Science 2015