Reference numberNLB/14/446
Alternative reference numberNLB/14 p253-255
TitleCopy letter from Michael Foster, to the Trustees of the Australian Museum, Sydney, New South Wales
Date11 March 1897
DescriptionFoster is directed by the President and Council to call attention to a difficulty which has arisen in reference to the recent Expedition sent out to Funafuti for the purpose of investigating a Coral Reef in the Pacific Seas. The Trustees are probably acquainted with the general history of the expedition and aware that Mr C Hedley of the Australian Museum joined the expedition at Sydney as a volunteer.

While at Sydney, Professor [William Johnson] Sollas, who was in charge of the expedition, attended a meeting of the Committee which had been formed in Sydney to assist the expedition and read before the Committee, in the presence of Mr R Etheridge and Hedley, the instructions for the conduct of the expedition which had been drawn up by a Committee of the Royal Society. A copy of these instructions are enclosed [not attached]. Foster quotes from these instructions regarding obtaining the consent of the Committee before expedition members publish scientific details of the investigations.

The President and Council have received a pamphlet by Hedley and issued under the authority of Etheridge entitled, 'The Atoll of Funafuti, Ellice Group: its Zoology, Botany, Ethnology, and General Structure based on Collections made by Mr Charles Hedley, of the Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W., Part I.'. This seems to contravene the aforementioned instruction.

The President and Council are acutely conscious of, and very grateful for, the great aid which the Expedition received from various authorities at Sydney, without which the investigation could not have been carried out even so far as it was, and nothing could be farther from their wishes than to seem to be in any way desirous of taking any steps which might appear to diminish the scientific credit which ought to accrue to the Australian continent of the expedition. At the same time they cannot hide from the conclusion that, in publishing the mentioned work, the authors have taken a line of action not wholly loyal to the Committee and therefore venture to bring this matter before the Trustees. They are further led to do this on account of the pamphlet being the first of a series.
Access statusOpen
Fellows associated with this archive
NA8220Foster; Sir; Michael (1836 - 1907); physiologist1836 - 1907
NA6978Sollas; William Johnson (1849 - 1936)1849 - 1936
NA6407Etheridge; Robert (1819 - 1903)1819 - 1903
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