The Royal Society of Tasmania – 2015 Launceston Lecture Series
Solomon Walker-Bowd BA (Hons), UTAS will present The Northern Branch of the Royal Society of Tasmania: 1853-1953 in the Meeting Room, QVMAG at Inveresk 2.00 pm Sunday 22nd February 2015
Admission: $6 General Public, $4 Friends of the Museum and Students
Free for members of The Royal Society of Tasmania
To assist us with the organization of this event
RSVP by Thursday 19th February 2015:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 6323 3798
The Royal Society for the Advancement of Science, formed by royal charter in 1662, was the pre-eminent scientific body of the British Empire. The first branch to be founded outside Britain was formed in Hobart in 1843 and has been the subject of considerable scholarship. However, little has been written about the two incarnations of the Royal Society that were formed in Launceston. A “Northern Branch” was first attempted in 1853, yet this body was defunct by 1860. The Branch was later re-formed in 1921 and continues to the present day. This presentation will examine the first century of the Northern Branch, from 1853 to 1953. It will be argued that the re-formed Northern Branch in particular served as a focal point for Launceston’s progressively-minded and intellectual classes to congregate and discuss scientific and historical matters, as well as coordinate the social and intellectual uplift of the city. In this way, the Northern Branch has served as both a barometer of Launceston’s intellectual growth and a facilitator of future development.
Solomon Walker-Bowd is a postgraduate student at the University of Tasmania, currently completing a Masters of Teaching. He was a co-winner of the Malcolm McRae Honours Scholarship for History in 2012, and
graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2013 with First Class Honours in History. Solomon’s Honours thesis focused on the first century of the Northern Branch of the Royal Society of Tasmania, unearthing
considerable information about the Branch – now Chapter – previously overlooked by historians. The wealth of available material leaves potential for him to consider a PhD thesis sometime in the future.