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Research Guides


Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia


15. Science and research

Early scientific interest in South Australia began with the establishment of the South Australian Literary and Philosophical Society in London in 1834, two years before the first immigrants arrived. By 1851 the government had appointed a geologist and mineral surveyor to advance studies that had already been undertaken. The Adelaide Philosophical Society was founded in 1853, the Botanic Gardens in 1855, and by 1861 the colony had allocated parts of the South Australian Institute building for a library, museum and lecture rooms. The foundation of the University of Adelaide in 1874 and Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1875 firmly established scientific research in South Australia.

The University of Adelaide founded the Waite Agricultural Research Institute in 1924, still in operation today and a site of continued research in horticulture, plant and pest science, oenology and viticulture, and soil and land systems.

Early South Australian scientists of international note include Horace Lamb, a mathematician who worked on hydrodynamics, and William Henry Bragg, an X-ray researcher who, with his son William Lawrence Bragg, won a Nobel Prize in 1915. Other later well-known scientists include Mark Oliphant and Howard Florey.


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Chapter 15
Science and research