How well do you know the Science Faculty?

Source: IFLS

(Unimelb Adventures is blogging about science this week to celebrate National Science Week!)

This post is a mix of fun facts about the science faculty, history of some science buildings, and a bit background of the science museums we have on campus!

Here we go!

General knowledge

The Science Faculty is 110 years old


Our science department was established in 1903 under our first dean, Professor Henry Laurie. More info about the science faculty’s history, click here.

37 science majors to choose from Bachelor of Science


SO MANY CHOICES!! For more info about majors, click here.

Our current dean of science is Prof. Robert Saint


If the internet is correct – it looks like Prof. Saint will be moving up in the world – he will become Pro Vice Chancellor (Research Strategy) at the University of Adelaide. Sooo….

Our new dean of science is Dr Karen Day


Dr. Day is a biologist (YES!), and will be commencing in January 2014. For more info, click here.

The clearly-in ATAR for 2013 was 91.95!

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 4.04.43 PM

WOW I don’t remember the clear-in ATAR for science being this high. More info, click here.

A bit of history

The Baldwin Spencer building used to be the Biology building

That’s right – the Baldwin Spencer building used to the School of Biology. The building was named after our very first Professor of Biology, Walter Baldwin Spencer. Then when another dude by the name of Wilfred Eade Agar (does Agar theatre sound familiar to you?) took over Spency’s role, the building was renamed to Zoology in 1920!

At the moment, the Baldwin Spencer building is home to student services (student housing, disability liaison, financial aid etc.) and home to the Environments student centre.

Redmond Barry (as the person) had an interesting background

The building, Redmond Barry is home to Biology and Psychology (School of Behavioural Science). Many of you first year science students would have your biology pracs in that building. This building is named after Sir Redmond Barry, who had a very colourful background.

DId you know that he was a colonial judge, and sentenced Ned Kelly to death?

Did you know that he was the founder of both Melbourne Uni AND the State Library of Victoria?

Cool hey?

Brownless Biomedical Library was named after Anthony Brownless

The biomed library we know, was named after Sir Anthony Brownless! At a young age, he wanted to study medicine but his studies were always interrupted because he always got injured or sick (apparently one time, a horse rolled over him! Like, really?). But he powered on and became a physician and educationist.

This is the man who formed med school at Melbourne Uni! And he was appointed vice-chancellor, and later on become chancellor of our uni until his death.

Laby theatre in Physics building was named after the Laby family

Not one, but TWO generations of the Laby family were very involved in physics at our uni. Thomas Howell Laby (picture above) was also the head of the Physics department at some point in time.

McCoy/Earth Science building was named after Frederick McCoy

Frederick McCoy came to Melbourne Uni in 1855 as Professor of Natural Science.

Science museums on campus

Did you know we have a number of science museums on campus? Here’s a bit of background about a few museums I like.

Medical History Museum

The medical museum was established in 1967 (46 years ago), by Prof. Kenneth Russell, a professor in anatomy. You can find this museum on level 2 of the Biomed library.

For more info, click here.

Tiegs Museum

Tiegs museum is Australia’s oldest university museum of zoology (woohoo!). It was establish in 1887 (126 years ago). The first specimens were contributed by Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer, and the collection was substantially improved by Professor Oscar Werner Tiegs.

More info, click here.

Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology

The anatomy and pathology museum was named after Sir Harry Brookes Allen, who was appointed Professor and Chair of Pathology back in the day.

I still haven’t visited this museum on campus!! SOMEONE LET ME IN PLEASE!! (You need to be studying anatomy/pathology to gain access to the museum). BUT – the museum will be open to the public this Sunday for Open Day! So if you want to check it out – this sunday is the day!

For more info, click here.

So… if there is ever a Melbourne Uni science trivia night, you would ace it!


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