Dr Ann Moyal AM
The degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) was conferred upon Dr Ann Moyal AM at the Faculty of Arts graduation ceremony held at 11.30am on 26 October 2007.
The Chancellor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO conferring the honorary degree upon Dr Moyal, photo, copyright Memento Photography.
Chancellor, I have the honour to present Dr Ann Moyal, AM, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.
Ann Moyal, then Ann Hurley, graduated from the University of Sydney in 1947 with a first class honours degree in History. Her early career took her on a scholarship to the Institute of Historical Research at London University and on to a research position in Commonwealth Affairs, at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House. During the mid to late fifties she worked for four years as personal research assistant to the eminent Lord Beaverbrook, working with him on his historical books, of which she writes in her autobiography, Breakfast with Beaverbrook.
Ann Moyal (then Ann Mozley) returned to Australia in 1958 to the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University to assist the Australian historian, Sir Keith Hancock, establish the Australian Dictionary of Biography, now a towering work of collective Australian scholarship.
In 1962 she moved to the position that was to initiate her wide contribution to the history of Australian science. At a time when ideas on the need to blend the ‘two cultures’ of science and the humanities were current in Britain, she was appointed to the joint post of Research Associate at the Australian Academy of Science and the Research School of Social Sciences, at the Australian National University, with the mission to found a historical archive of Australian scientists and to open this field of history to research.
It is a mission she has accomplished with distinction. Dr Moyal is the author of many books and papers on the social history of nineteenth and twentieth century Australian science, its participants and institutions, and aspects of its technological development. Among these are A Bright & Savage Land, Scientists in Colonial Australia; her landmark history of telecommunications Clear Across Australia; and her recent work, Platypus. The Extraordinary Story of How a Curious Creature Baffled the World. Her books have combined wide scholarship and a capacity to bring the diverse history of science and technology of this country to a wide reading public.
All her books have attracted critical acclaim and attest to the contribution she has made to Australian history and to an understanding of the role of science and technology in Australian society.
Across her career, she held teaching positions at the New South Wales Institute of Technology from1972 to 1976 and at Griffith University where she was Director of the Science Policy Research Centre from 1977 to 1979.
Dr Moyal was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993 for her contribution, through her writings, to Australia’s cultural life. In 1995 she founded the Independent Scholars Association of Australia. In 2002 she received the degree of Doctor of Letters from the Australian National University for her published work. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and holder of the Centenary Medal.
Chancellor, I present Ann Veronica Helen Moyal for admission to the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, and I invite you to confer the degree upon her.