Carter Observatory Board.
Report of Representatives of the Royal Society of New Zealand for the Year
Ended, 31st March, 1949.
Board. The constitution of the Board at the end of the year was as follows: Mr. R. G. Dick, Professor D. C. H. Florance, Mr. R. S. Hayes, Professor F. F. Miles, Mr. C. M. N. Watson-Munro (Government); Mr. E. P. Norman, Mr. L. T. Jacobsen (Wellington City Council), Dr. M. A. F. Barnett, Mr. C. G. G. Berry (Royal Society of New Zealand).
Mr. F. W. Furkert was a representative of the Wellington City Council for the year until his death on 26th September, 1949. He was replaced by Mr. Jacobsen.
Mr. E. P. Norman was elected Chairman and Professor D. C. H. Florance Vice-chairman of the Board.
Seven meetings of the Board were held during the year.
Educational Work. The Observatory was opened to the public regularly on Friday evenings and on a few special occasions. Public interest is being maintained, and there was a total record of 1939 attendances.
Five 3-inch telescopes were purchased from a fund collected by the late Mr. A. C. Gifford for the purpose of lending them to secondary schools.
The Board has also made the Lecture Room at the Observatory available for the use of local astronomical societies.
Solar Work. Projection drawings of the sun have been continued as in the past. Since November, 1949, a new eyepiece purchased a few years ago and a new projection board manufactured locally have been brought into use. With this combination solar disc drawings, 25cm. in diameter are made. Detailed investigations of heliographic measurement methods has shown that positions to within one degree are reliable, and that if required five times this accuracy could be produced.
Many trials with an attachment for solar photography made by the Dominion Physical Laboratory have been carried out. These show that successful routine sunspot photographs are possible, but at present a regular programme has not been commenced.
A programme of regular spectrohelioscope observations was instituted on all fine working days, and the total observing time was 127 hours. Solar flares were seen on 46 occasions, but only four of these reached full importance.
Besides sending solar information to interested authorities in New Zealand sunspot observations have been forwarded to Zurich Observatory, and Spectrohelioscope observations to Meudon Observatory and the Royal Greenwich Observatory for use in international records.
It has been intimated to the Observatory that it may be called upon to supply more information in the future for international solar work.
Radio Disturbance Forecasts. These have been supplied, as in previous years, to the Post and Telegraph Department and the National Broadcasting Service. By request, forecasts were also commenced for Overseas Telecommunications Commission (Australia), Sydney.
Auroral Work. By a grant made by the Radio Research Committee, and considerable general assistance from the Meteorological Service, increased activity occurred in this field. In general, the number of reporting units has been increased, and the quality of reporting improved. The auroral cameras were overhauled and have now been installed at the aerodromes at Taieri and Invercargill. Much work has been done in rechecking past records for future reference.
An auroroal assistant was appointed in September.
Reports have continued from the party on Campbell Island and the Australian Antarctic Expedition on Heard and Macquarie Islands.
Photo-Electric Photometry. Experiments were conducted by an honours student for his thesis to determine the possibility of using the 9-inch telescope for photo-electric photometry of stars.
The results indicated that a useful field of work may be possible after a few refinements have been made.
General. Thirteen successful plates were obtained of the partial solar eclipse of 1949, October 22, and await reduction.
Micrometer observations of the diameter of Venus were commenced.
Astronomical computations for various equiries were carried out.
M. A. F. Barnett
C. G. G. Berry
The report of the representatives on the Carter Observatory Board was adopted.
Report on the Activities of the Interim Secretariat of the Pacific Science
Council to the Royal Society of New Zealand.
At the third meeting of the Pacific Science Council during the Seventh Congress it was agreed that, in order to further the establishment of a permanent Secretariat of the Council, the Royal Society of New Zealand should be asked to undertake the implementation of the resolutions of the Seventh Pacific Science Congress, and that a Committee (the Secretariat Establishment Committee) be appointed to keep in touch with the Royal Society of New Zealand's Secretariat activities and at an appropriate time to appoint a paid secretary to carry these activities forward to the Eighth Congress.
In May, 1940, the Royal Society of New Zealand's Congress Organising Committee recommended that the Royal Society should agree to the Pacific Science Council's request and that the writer be asked to undertake the Secretariat duties in addition to his continuing duties as Secretary-general of the Seventh Congress. This proposal was adopted at the Annual Meeting of the Royal Society of New Zealand in May, 1949.
The problem of finance for office running- expenses and salary for an Assistant Secretary was solved by the generous agreement of the Director-General of U.N.E.S.C.O. to allow the Royal Society's Congress Organising Committee to devote the balance of the U.N.E.S.C.O. Congress Visitor's Grant towards the establishment of the permanent Secretariat of the Pacific Science Council. This prompt and substantial gesture of goodwill towards the Secretariat was greatly appreciated.
As had been contemplated by the Pacific Science Council, the first duty of the Secretariat was to distribute copies of the resolutions and research recommendations of the Seventh Congress to the Representative Institutions of the Pacific Science Association, with a covering letter drawing attention to those recommendations and resolutions which particularly concerned a given Institution. Through the courtesy of the New Zealand Department of External Affairs the recommendations and resolutions were forwarded to the governments of the member-countries of the Pacific Science Association.
Following notification of the appointment by the President of the Seventh Congress of Chairmen of Standing Committees, the Secretariat opened up correspondence with Standing Committee Chairmen.
From the reports received from Representative Instititutions bearing on the resolutions and recommendations, and from information supplied by the Standing Committee Chairmen on members appointed and outline programmes adopted, Information Bulletins were compiled and distributed to Representative Institutions, to members of the Pacific Science Council, to Standing Committee Chairmen, and to some scientific publications.
Recommendations and resolutions of the Congress had also been communicated to international scientific organisations, and where the recommendations had called for co-operative work on Pacific problems the Secretariat opened up correspondence with certain of these international organisations to determine where useful co-operation could be achieved. Such of the information received as was of general interest to Representative Institutions was incorporated
in the Information Bulletins; to give more detailed and specific information to Standing Committee Chairmen a system of Standing Committee memoranda was started. The Information Bulletins and sometimes the Standing Committee memoranda were distributed to the international organisations which would find them of interest.
Copies of the minutes of the Pacific Science Council meetings during the Seventh Congress were distributed to members and to Representative Institutions. Recommendations in the minutes concerning internal administrative arrangements were taken up by correspondence and preliminary reports sent to members of the Council. It was decided to leave further action on these until the Secretariat should be established.
As envisaged by the Council, the Interim Secretariat kept in constant touch with the Secretariat Establishment Committees (Finance and Appointment) and in due course received their decision that sufficient funds were available to establish the Secretariat for an experimental period of two years, and the decision of the Appointment Committee as to the officers to be appointed. The Interim Secretariat communicated the decision of the Appointment Committee to the persons selected and received their acceptance, whereby the Secretariat is established. The Executive Secretary is Mr. Loring G. Hudson, of Honolulu, and the Assistant Secretary is Miss Brenda Bishop, of Auckland, New Zealand, and the office of the Secretariat is in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu.
In conclusion, I would like to say how much the work of the Interim Secretariat was assisted by the ready interest with which our plans were received and the thoughtful consideration given to all our requests and suggestions, and to express my appreciation for this co-operation to the Representative Institutions, the international scientific organisations, and the Standing Committee Chairmen with whom I corresponded on Secretariat affairs.
IIon. Secretary Interim Secretariat of
the Pacific Science Council.
Auckland, S.E.l, New Zealand.
The report of the Interim Secretariat was presented by Dr. Archey who stated that the Permanent Secretariat had now been established in Honolulu, with Mr. Loring Hudson, secretary, and Miss Brenda Bishop, assistant secretary.
The Proceedings were being printed by the Government Printer, the first volume being in galley proof form. Details were given by Professor Allan of the material for the other volumes.
In reply to a question, Dr. Marwick, Chairman of the Publications Business Committee, stated that the proposed volumes would cost approximately £6,000.
Secretary-General: Eulogistic references were made to Dr. Archey, Secretary-General of the Congress, and the tremendous work he had carried out, and on the motion of Professor Allan, seconded by Mr. Pycroft, it was resolved that the Council place on record its highest appreciation of the work of the Secretary-General of the Congress, Dr. G. Archey. The success of the Congress, due in large part to his exceptional administrative ability, had brought great credit to New Zealand.
Other members paid a tribute to his work, and finally the President conveyed to Dr. Archey the resolution of the Council and its sincere thanks for his work.
Dr. Archey, in reply, thanked the Council for its resolution, stating that it had been a worth-while experience which had brought him into close contact with fellow-workers in and beyond New Zealand.
He referred to the great help and co-operation he had received from the Persident, Dr. Falla, and Professor Allan, Chairman of the Christchurch Committee, and he paid a tribute to the secretarial assistance of Miss Bishop, Mrs. Driver, and Miss Wood.
New Zealand Science Congress. Dr. Frankel reported that the dates set down for the Congress were the 15th–21st May, 1951, the annual meeting of the Council to be held on Tuesday, 22nd May.
The membership fee had been fixed at £1. It had been decided to invite Dr. Julian Huxley to be the official guest of the Congress.
Adult Education. Dr. Archey presented the report of the Special Committee on adult education in science, which he slightly amended, This was seconded by Mr. Keys, and adopted. Professor Allan moved, Mr. Pycroft seconded, that the report be sent to Dr. Hulme, convener of the Adult Education Board of the New Zealand University.