Journal features history of CSIRO research on greenhouse gases

December 12, 2017
Simple outline map of Australia and New Zealand showing dotted lines between some cities
Aircraft air sampling routes for the collection of tropospheric air samples for CO2 analysis during the ’70s and early ’80s.

The December 2017 issue (Volume 28 Number 2) of the Academy’s journal, Historical Records of Australian Science, is now available. This issue contains five articles on the history of Australian science, four biographical memoirs of Fellows, and a selection of book reviews.

The historical articles include an account of the involvement of a physics professor in the development and use of the new medium—radio—in the 1920s and 1930s, a detailed review of the life and work of Australia’s first professor of biochemistry, T. Brailsford Robertson, and further details of the career of nineteenth-century plant scientist, Hermann Beckler.

Perhaps the most significant articles are by those who made their careers in CSIRO studying the influence of greenhouse gases on Earth’s atmosphere. The articles explore the modest beginning of the program, its increasing sophistication as the importance of the phenomenon became more apparent, and the way in which the results obtained have been integrated into a global research effort. The CSIRO work with other greenhouse gases will be covered in future articles.

The biographical memoirs published in this issue honour the contributions of mathematician Peter Hall, geologist Bruce Chappell, marsupial biologist Geoff Sharman and chemist David Craig. Craig’s memoir has also been published by the Royal Society, of which he was a Fellow.

Fellows’ access to the journal is free via a link on the Fellows’ page of the Academy website (requires log-in).

Virtual issue and online early

In a new development for the journal, the publisher and editors brought together articles and biographical memoirs from past issues that described the careers of nine Australian women scientists. This ‘virtual issue’ was made available without charge for three months to coincide with the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) conference in September.

Another strategy to make the journal more noticeable and accessible was to create the category of ‘online early’ publications. Once editorial processing had been completed, six articles were made available through the website so that they could be accessed before the formal publication of the journal issue. One of these, the biographical memoir of Bruce Chappell, was made available without charge for a month to participants in a conference on granite geology. This was the field in which Chappell was a world leader.

Change to publication months

From 2018, the journal will be published in January and July each year rather than June and December. 

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