Our History

History of Science at the University of Melbourne

1855

The Quadrangle, including a physics laboratory on the first floor, is opened

1856

Work begins on the System Garden, a botanical garden planted according to a classification system and circling out from a central conservatory

1861

A Certificate Course in Physics is offered for the first time

1864

The Natural History Museum is established to house the collection of the Professor of Natural Science, Frederick McCoy. Including the skeleton of a blue whale, the collection was later moved to what would become Museum Victoria. The first Chairs in Natural Philosophy and Chemistry are established, awarded to H. Martyn Andrew and John Drummond Kirkland respectively

1886

The Bachelor of Science and the Doctor of Science are established

1887

Walter Baldwin Spencer is appointed as the foundation Chair of Biology

1889

John Walter Gregory is appointed as the foundation Chair of Geology

1903

The Faculty of Science is officially established

1930

The Faculty of Science has 35 staff across six departments, with Natural Philosophy being the largest department in the University, with 10 staff

1941

The School of Forestry is established, along with a new campus at Creswick

1964

The Department of Genetics is established

1968

The Bachelor of Science in Education course is conducted in both first and second years for the first time

1980

The School of Forestry at Creswick formally joins the University

1981

The School of Earth Sciences is established

1996

Departments of Statistics and Mathematics combine to form the Department (later School) of Mathematics and Statistics

2005

Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute opens

2008

The introduction of the 'Melbourne Model' sees the Bachelor of Science expand to encompass majors in engineering, IT, and medical and health sciences

2014

The Faculty of Science expands to include the new Schools of Geography and Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, and the Office for Environmental Programs. The Faculty takes over management of Burnley and Creswick campuses

2015

The School of Botany and Departments of Zoology and Genetics amalgamate to form the School of BioSciences. The Bio21 Institute celebrates its tenth anniversary

2016

Burnley campus celebrates 125 years of horticulture teaching