National Library of Australia
Ralph Slatyer had a long association with the CSIRO and the Australian National University and was actively involved in many research and official organisations and committees. Much of the work would be recorded on ANU and official files. The papers that he retained mainly relate to some of his activities toward the end of his career.
Slatyer was appointed Australia's Ambassador to UNESCO in 1978 by the Fraser government and then Chairman of the Australian Science and Technology Council in 1982 by the Fraser government, continuing under Prime Minister Hawke. He was then appointed Australia's first Chief Scientist and adviser to the Hawke and later the Keating Governments. There are many government papers, which are mainly correspondence, in his papers. Other material includes biographical sketches, a list of Slatyer's publications, videocasettes, an audio tape, speeches, reports, discussion papers, photographs and medals. The series also comprises files relating to the establishment of the Cooperative Research Centres Program, and other research initiatives.
Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn545308).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Ralph Owen Slatyer, National Library of Australia, MS 9476, [box number and series and/or folder number]'.
The papers were donated by Professor Ralph Slatyer in 1999.
For the most part, the file titles are those supplied by Slatyer, with additional information in a few instances for clarification.
Ralph Slatyer was born in Perth, on the 16 April 1929. He was educated at the University of Western Australia where he obtained his Bachelor's (1951) Master's (1955) and Doctoral (1960) degrees in agricultural science.
Career details - Full time positions
Books (authored or edited)
Practical micro-climatology, R. Slatyer and I.C. Mcllroy eds. UNESCO, Paris 1961
Plant-water relationships, Academic Press, London, 1967
Arid lands of Australia, R. Slatyer and R. A. Perrys eds. ANU Press, Canberra,1969
Man and the new biology, ANU Press, Canberra, 1970
Photosynthesis and photorespiration, M.D. Hatch, C.B. Osmond and R.Slatyer eds. Wiley Interscience, New York, 1971
Plant responses to climatic factors, R. Slatyer ed. UNESCO, Paris, 1974
|1967||Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA)|
|1975||Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS)|
|1976||Foreign member of the United States National Academy of Sciences|
|1977||Queen's silver jubilee medal|
|1981||Foreign member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences|
|1982||Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)|
|1983||Honorary degree of Doctor of Science from University of Western Australia|
|1984||Honorary member of the British Ecological Society|
|1986||Honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Duke University|
|1991||Medal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science|
|1992||Honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Queensland|
|1992||Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering|
|1993||Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) (Appointed Officer (AO) in 1982)|
|1993||Foreign member of the Korean Association for Science and Technology|
|1993||Gold medal of the Ecological Society of Australia|
|1998||Honorary degree of Doctor of Applied Science from Charles Sturt University|
|2001||Clunies Ross award for lifetime contribution to science and technology.|
Ralph Slatyer's personal documents include a large number of biographical sketches, both handwritten and typed. Of particular value is a document headed 'Personal Records' prepared for the Royal Society and the Australian Academy of Science, curricula vitae, a publication list, and newspaper articles about him.
The series also contains the medals that Slatyer received for academic achievement and services to UNESCO and ANZAAS (Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science). It incudes the medal for the Clunies Ross Lifetime Contribution, awarded in 2001. He was also awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal. There are transparencies and photographs, one of Slatyer receiving the UNESCO medal, and a certificate and an honorary doctorate.
The three videocassettes include farewell speeches at Slatyer's retirement, a news report about his A.C., and an Academy interview by Max Blythe (the transcription is included). There are nomination papers, booklets, and letters of congratulations relating to his A.O. and A.C. awards. There is an audio tape relating to Slatyer's speech given at the Belgrade UNESCO Conference and two transcripts of an oral history interview he recorded with Ann Moyal.
At the Australian National University Ralph Slatyer was Professor of Biology between 1967 and 1992 and Director of the Research School of Biological Sciences between 1984 and 1989. In 1992, he became a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Research School of Biological Sciences.
The first folder includes letters relating to offers of positions at the ANU and Slatyer's acceptance of a consultancy in a UN Development Program project in South Korea.
Other correspondence includes invitations and notes about the Cooperative Research Centre for Robust and Adaptive Systems, the John Curtin School of Medical Research, and requests for advice about university issues. There are copies of the ANU Reporter. In one issue there is an article about Slatyer's appointment as Chief Scientist.
The Chubb Report material includes letters and notes about university funding issues and Slatyer's letter to the Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, relating to Professor Chubb's report about ANU restructuring. There is a draft report reviewing the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), including letters from international university professors lobbying ministers against changes at the ANU.
Series 2 also contains Slatyer's draft speech at the launch of ANU/Fujitsu collaborative R&D (Research and Development) program, and Slatyer's opening speech for the 'Commitment to Discovery'ANU Tech exhibition.
During 1978-81 Slatyer held the position of Australian Ambassador to UNESCO, based in Paris. The series includes official UNESCO photographs of Slatyer, photocopies of a news release about his new position and notes about his accomplishments as an international scientist.
Slatyer was appointed Chairman of the Australian Science and Technology Council by Malcolm Fraser in 1982. He was continued in that position by R.J. Hawke when he became Prime Minister, serving until 1987. When the government established the new science policy arrangements in 1989, Slatyer became the first Chief Scientist.
As Chief Scientist Slatyer was an adviser to the Hawke Government and briefly to the Keating Government. The series includes a photocopy of the Chief Scientist job agreement, correspondence between cabinet ministers, heads of business enterprises, government agencies, departmental secretaries, university vice-chancellors, national and international leaders of the science, technology, and environmental communities. Slatyer was chairman of the Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC) and there are papers relating to the work of the Council. Also included is Paul Keating's farewell speech to him as Chief Scientist.
During Slatyer's time as Chief Scientist he travelled extensively and there are papers, reports, correspondence, travel arrangements and notes about his impressions of science issues in other countries. The format of the material includes faxes, letters, e-mails, photocopies of official government material, reports, policy papers, awards, overhead transparencies, Slatyer's handwritten drafts and notes and publications.
In this series the folders have been listed according to Slatyer's subject headings, with some elaborations.
Earth Watch, 1990
EPAC (Economic Planning Advisory Committee), 1991
Australian/US Science and Technology workshop, 1990
National Parks Association, 1990
OTC Worldwide Telecommunications Solutions, 1989-91
Letters about Australian Vice-Chancellors meeting arrangements, 1989-93
Constitutional Centenary conference, 1991
Greenhouse Conference, 1989
Science Policy Research, John Irvine and Ben Martin, 1990
T.T. Kozlowski,. 1991
Lewis Chadderton, 1991
Lord Shackleton, 1989-90
Professor E.R. Oxburgh, 1989
Vocational and Technical Training (VTTC), Ian Berckelman, 1990-91
Shell UK, Robert Reid and Patrick Coldstream, 1990-92
Sir John Fairclough, Chief Science Adviser (UK) 1989-90
Rick Gould, High Commission, London, 1989-91
Dr Ian Forrester, NZ CS (New Zealand Chief Scientist), 1990-91
CSIRO Plant Industry Talk (program) 1991
ANZAAS (Australian and New Zealand association for the Advancement of Science Incorporated)-General, 1991
Conzinc Riotinto of Australia Ltd (CRA), 1992
ASTEC Search correspondence, 1990
Main impressions Oct/Nov UK and France visit, 1989
National Science Forum, 1990
Professor D.W. Pearce seminars, 1990
Energy Resources of Australia, 1990-92
Tetley Manufacturing, 1991
Business and the Environment, 1991
Garvan Institute of Medical Research talk, Sydney, 1991
International Conference on Coal Research, 1991
Aerospace CR (Cooperative Research) Seminar, 1990
Australian Defence Force Academy, 1990
Search article about PMSC (Prime Minister's Science Council) 1990
Advanced Engineering Centres, 1990-91
New Zealand Ministerial Task Force Visit, 1991-92
Australian Embassy, Washington, 1989-92
Korean visitors, 1992
Thai Minister for University Affairs, 1991
Sir Mark Richmond, UK, 1991
Representatives from the USA House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 1990
Representatives from the Science Council of Japan, 1990
Germany, Helsinki, London, 1991
Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, 1991
Papers on the SPRU (Science Policy and Research Unit), 1991 and IUCN (The World Conservation Union) World Heritage matters, 1991
Korean matters and a report and publication, 1991-92
Report on South East Asian April Visit, June 1991
Miscellaneous South East Asia, 1991
In his capacity as Chief Scientist, Slatyer was the major force behind the implementation of the (CRC) Cooperative Research Centres in 1989-90.
The series comprises research notes, papers and correspondence between ministers and Slatyer about CRC implementation. There is an original and photocopy of a memorandum, press release notes, financial estimates, Slatyer's handwritten notes and a letter to Bob Hawke expressing the need for science and technological development in Australia, faxes, overhead transparencies and publications and e-mails relating to the proposal and the establishment of cooperative research centres throughout Australia. It also includes published booklets, compendiums, pamphlets and magazines relating to the Cooperative Research Centre Program.
Estimation of CRC's expenditure and correspondence
Media release 1990-91
Slatyer held the position of chairman and president in many organisations. For instance, he was chairman of the World Heritage Committee, the Australian Research Council, Co-op Multi Media Centres Program, the Bureau of Meteorology, and Access to Australia's Genetic Resources. This series comprises reports, correspondence, proposals, guidelines, legal documents, publications, discussion papers, research material, and budget papers.
Slatyer's letters and notes, research material from IUCN, correspondence between Slatyer and M. Pitman (Chief Scientist) 1995, draft report, 1997
Draft reports 1996, 1997, World Heritage Report Part 1, 1997
Notes and papers for meeting in Canberra, 1997 Related published material, 1995-92
Australian Research Council (ARC)
Slatyer's notes about the ARC advice on the IAS (Institute of Advanced Studies) Review and Netherlands scientific research paper and correspondence, 1995-96
Co-op Multi Media Centres Program
Assessment panel meeting notes, application form, briefing session notes, 1994
Legal document concerning an agreement draft, 1995
Correspondence between Slatyer and Jim Belshaw (Interim CEO, Ndarala Multimedia Centre) 1995, minutes concerning assessment process, and draft media release from Simon Crean about the centres, notes on funding recommendations, 1995
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
Publications by Slatyer, Capturing opportunities in the provision of Meteorological Services, 1997 and another publication about a 1996 review of BOM, when Slatyer was chairman
Access to Australia's Genetic Resources
Minutes 1995 Background information notes, Intergovernmental agreement on the environment 1992, 1994
Slatyer's Commonwealth -State Working Group Meeting notes, 1995
Publication entitled National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity
This series includes Slatyer' letters, notes and report to Bob Hawke about his 1986, 1989 and 1991 overseas visits. There are handwritten notes about science initiatives, budgets, and notes relating to Slatyer's impressions about science matters in different countries.
Slatyer's letter and report to Hawke about Asian visit 1991
Notes about Slatyer's impressions about his visit to the USA, Asia, Korea, UK, France, telex messages, letters about Korea's Science and Engineering Foundation exchange program in association with the Australian Academy of Science and other correspondence with the Academy, 1990-92
Series 8 consists of correspondence between university department heads, vice- chancellors and Slatyer. There is correspondence relating to the University of Technology's proposed Advanced Engineering Centres, funding and research issues, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute (University of Adelaide) report, a meeting outline concerning Macquarie University Cooperative Research Centre issues, and invitations to Slatyer to give speeches and talks at university graduation ceremonies.
This series includes handwritten notes, drafts, overhead transparencies, graphs and financial figures, a booklet and a university newspaper. Slatyer was guest speaker at many university graduation ceremonies as well as the National Science Forum and the Australian National University. Other speeches include 'Commitment to discovery' exhibition, CSIRO Seminar, Business and Consumer Research Seminar, Ecological Society of Australia, and other speeches and talks.
Slatyer has published many articles and books, but only a few are held with his papers. The series also includes three booklets relating to CSIRO and ASTEC issues.