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Proceedings of the Royal Society for the month of May, 1878

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Royal Society of Tasmania, (1878) Proceedings of the Royal Society for the month of May, 1878. Papers & Proceedings and Report of the Royal Society of Tasmania. pp. 6-7.

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Abstract

The monthly evening meeting of the Society was held on Tuesday May 14. His Excellency the Governor occupied the chair. -A specimen of marble, cut and polished, was placed on the table for inspection. In calling attention to this specimen, Mr. Stephens remarked that though the term "marble" was sometimes restricted to altered or metamorphic rocks, it also included all limestones used for ornamental purposes, the black and grey limestones from the carboniferous rocks of England and Ireland being extensively utilised. The specimen before the meeting was from the so-called "Devonian" limestones of Maria Island, and would bear comparison with many marbles of the same class which have attained high favour. It had been furnished by Mr. Robert Robinson, of Spring Bay, whose name was familiar to many Fellows of the Society, and it was to be hoped that he would be successful in this attempt to establish a new and permanent industry in Tasmania. -The Secretary read a paper entitled "A few remarks on the distribution and growth of Queensland plants," contributed by F. M. Bailey, Esq., of Brisbane, a Corresponding Member of the Society. -His Lordship the Bishop of Tasmania read an important paper on " Water supply in relation to disease." -In his (Dr. Hall's) capacity as Health Officer, such support was most valuable for when respected and intelligent gentlemen took up sanitary subjects, it would have much more weight with Government, and local authorities than anonymous letters in the newspapers. In the paper to which the Bishop had alluded, read to the society by him (Dr. Hall) fifteen years ago this month, he had predicted that those diseases most influenced by impure water, would diminish by the recently improved supply. He had stated that on an average of the six years, 1857-62, the mortality from dysentery, diarrhoea, etc., had been 8 per cent, of the total deaths. Last year, with its very heavy death list, the proportion was rather less than half. Could other sanitary improvements be made to effect a similar reduction in other diseases he would go to his grave satisfied that his labours in the cause had not been fruitless. -Referring to some remarks as to certain diseases being propagated by germs carried about by the air, water, and other means the Secretary observed that although the "germ" theory of disease was a good working theory, it was well to recollect that its correctness had never yet been actually proved. He, himself had long thought, from many instances which had come under his observation, that disease of an infectious character could occur de novo—that is without the action of any preexisting germ. Within the last few months Dr. R. W. Richardson, who was certainly second to none in the profession for learning, ability, and power of original research, had contributed to a scientific periodical a paper in which he attacked with much cogent reasoning "the germ theory", and offered a carefully considered suggestion to the effect that infectious diseases were due to a poison secreted by the individual—the poison of the snake being adduced as an extreme example. -His Excellency mentioned he had recently, when fishing caught two parr, one in the Derwent, the other in the Nile. From the finger-like markings of the former he thought it probable it was the young of the true Salmon, whilst the more spotted markings of the latter might favour the belief that it was the young of the Salmo trutta. In each case the young fish, after its accidental capture, was immediately returned to its home.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, Van Diemens Land, VDL, Hobart Town, natural sciences, proceedings, records
Journal or Publication Title: Papers & Proceedings and Report of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 6-7
Additional Information: In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania.
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2012 00:28
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:44
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/15395
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