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Biographical entry Halford, George Britton (1824 - 1910)

Born
26 November 1824
Petworth, Sussex, England
Died
27 May 1910
Inverloch, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Anatomist and Physiologist

Summary

George Halford became the first professor in medicine at an Australian university when he was appointed Professor of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology at the University of Melbourne in 1862. His reputation as an experimental physiologist was a key factor in his being offered the position. The number of medical students expanded rapidly, increasing the teaching load such that in 1882 he was restyled Professor Physiology while the teaching of anatomy fell under a new chair. Halford retired from teaching in 1897 and resigned his chair in 1903. Women were first admitted to study at the University in 1880, nine years after Halford first proposed that they should be allowed to do so. Halford's research took a back seat to his teaching although he found time to work on treatments for snakebite and was vociferous in his opposition to the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin. The Halford Oration was established by his family in 1928: it was delivered at the Institute of Anatomy, Canberra, until 1948 and thereafter at the University of Melbourne.

Details

Events

1852
Education - Member, Royal College of Surgeons, London
1854
Education - Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries (LSA)
1854
Education - MD, St Andrews University, Scotland
1862 - 1882
Career position - Professor Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology, University of Melbourne
1863
Award - M.D (ad eund.), University of Melbourne
1868
Career position - Member of Council, Royal Society of Victoria
1868
Career position - Vice-President, Royal Society of Victoria
1870
Career position - Vice-President, Royal Society of Victoria
1871
Career position - President, Professorial Board, University of Melbourne
1871
Career position - Member of Council, Royal Society of Victoria
1876 - 1886
Career position - Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne
1882 - 1903
Career position - Professor of Physiology, University of Melbourne
1890 - 1896
Career position - Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne
1897
Life event - Retired from teaching
1903
Life event - Resigned the Chair of Physiology
1959
Education - Member, Royal College of Physicians, London

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • George Britton Halford - Records, 1860 - 1949; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Butcher, Barry W., 'Gorilla Warfare in Melbourne: Halford, Huxley and 'Man's Place in Nature'', in R. W. Home (ed.), Australian Science in the Making, Cambridge University Press, Sydney, 1988, pp. 153-169. Details
  • Russell, K. F., 'Halford, George Britton (1824-1910)', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 4, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1972, pp. 321-322. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A040363b.htm. Details

Journal Articles

  • Kenny, A. L., 'The Halford Oration: Halford the Man', Medical Journal of Australia, no. 1, 1941, pp. 129-134. Details
  • Osborne, W. A., 'George Britton Halford: His Life and Work', Medical Journal of Australia, 1929, pp. 64-88. Details
  • Stawell, R. R., 'The Halford Oration. The Foundations of the Medical School and the Future of Medical Education', Medical Journal of Australia, no. 1, 1931, pp. 1-8. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Science and the making of Victoria, with Royal Society of Victoria, 2001, http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/smv/index_h.html. Details
  • Barrett, J., 'The Halford Oration. (The Progress of Medical Science from Professor Halford's arrival in Australia to the Present Day)', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 2, 1932, pp. 707-718. Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn