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Biographical entry Branagan, David Francis (1930 - )

AM

Born
1930
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Geologist and Historian

Summary

David Branagan is one of Australia's foremost geologists, equally well-known for his work on Australia's geological history. For 30 years he taught in the Department of Geology an Geophysics at the University of Sydney, his principal areas of research being coal geology and mining, and engineering geology. Branagan has produced over 200 publications, approximately half of which are concerned with the history of Australian geology and mineral exploration and the geologists and mineralogists involved. He has been an active member of the Geological Society of Australia since its inception and was awarded Honorary Life membership in 1992.

Details

Events

1950
Education - BSc, University of Sydney
1950 - 1954
Career position - Geologist, Geological Survey of New South Wales
1952 - 1992
Career position - Foundation Member, Geological Society of Australia
1953
Career position - Employed by National Lead of New York (minerals exploration in Central Australia and Queensland)
1954 - 1957
Life event - Resident in Europe
1958 - 1960
Career position - Coal Research Fellow, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Sydney
1960 - 1965
Career position - Lecturer, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Sydney
1963
Education - PhD, University of Sydney
1965 - 1975
Career position - Senior Lecturer, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Sydney
1974 - 1984
Career position - Founding Editor, The Australian Geologist
1975 - 1989
Career position - Associate Professor of Geology, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Sydney
1989
Career position - Honorary Research Associate, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney
1989
Life event - Retired
1990 - 1994
Career position - Chair, Earth Sciences History Group, Geological Society of Australia
1992
Award - Honorary Life Member, Geological Society of Australia
1992 - 1996
Career position - President, International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences
1995
Career position - President, Royal Society of New South Wales
1998
Award - Royal Society of New South Wales Medal
1999
Award - Harold White Fellowship, National Library of Australia
2003
Award - Mellon Fellowship, University of Oklahoma, U.S.A.
2003
Award - Award for Excellence in Coal Geology, Coalfield Council of New South Wales
2007
Award - DSc (honoris causa), University of Sydney
2012
Award - Vallance Medal, Earth Sciences History Group, Geological Society of Australia
2015
Award - Sue Tyler Friedman Medal, Geological Society of London
2018
Award - Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the geological sciences as an academic, researcher and author, to professional groups, and to the community

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

University of Sydney, Archives

  • David Francis Branagan - Records, 1950 - 1985, P 50; University of Sydney, Archives. Details

Published resources

Books

  • Branagan, David, History of Early Work (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 3-7 pp. Details
  • Branagan, David, T. W. Edgeworth David: a Life (Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2005), 648 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Branagan, D. F., 'The history of geological mapping in Australia' in Some sources for the history of Australian science: six papers presented at a workshop on the history of science in Australia, Borchardt, D. H., ed. (Kensington (N.S.W.): History Project Incorporated, 1984), pp. 33-46. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Woolnough, Walter George (1876-1958), Geologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie, ed., vol. 12 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1990), pp. 572-573. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A120642b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Geological Maps of Australia in the Nineteenth Century and the Search for Mineral Wealth' in Proceedings of the Pacific Rim Conference, May 1990, Gold Coast, Queensland (Melbourne: Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1990), pp. 179-182. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'A History of New South Wales Coal Mining' in Coal in Australia: Proceedings of the Third Edgeworth David Day Symposium, D. F. Branagan and K. L. Williams, eds (Sydney: University of Sydney Press, 1991), pp. 1-16. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Black, Arnold Barham (1889-1964), Mining Engineer' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie, ed., vol. 13 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1993), pp. 189-190. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130223b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Cameron, Keith Addison (1907-1967), Mining Engineer and Company Director' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie, ed., vol. 13 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1993), pp. 350-351. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130390b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Raggatt, Sir Harold George (1900-1968), Geologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie and Diane Langmore, eds, vol. 16 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2002), pp. 47-48. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A160056b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Read, Thomas Andrew (1886-1972), Metallurgist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie and Diane Langmore, eds, vol. 16 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2002), pp. 65-66. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A160074b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Williams, George Kenneth (1896-1974), Metallurgist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie and Diane Langmore, eds, vol. 16 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2002), pp. 551-552. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A160655b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Samuel Stutchbury, 1798-1859' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Charles Smith Wilkinson, 1843-1891' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'John Walter Gregory, 1864-1932' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Sir Tannatt William Edgeworth David, 1858-1934' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Mosher, Kenneth George (1913-1990), Geologist, Public servant and Military' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 18 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2012), p. 186. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mosher-kenneth-george-15028. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Mulholland, Charles St John (1903-1984), Geologist and Public Servant' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 18 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2012), pp. 189-90. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mulholland-charles-st-john-15029. Details
  • Branagan, D. F.; Townley, K. A., 'Selwyn, Alfred Richard Cecil (1824-1902), geologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bede Nairn, ed., vol. 6 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1976), pp. 102-103. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060117b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F.; Vallance, T. G., 'Keene, William (1798-1872), geologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 5 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1974), pp. 5-6. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A050007b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F.; Vallance, T. G., 'Stutchbury, Samuel (1798-1859), geologist and biologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bede Nairn, ed., vol. 6 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1976), pp. 216-217. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060233b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F.; Vallance, T. G., 'Dun, William Sutherland (1868-1934)' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle, eds, vol. 8 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1981), p. 364. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080388b.htm. Details
  • Branagan, David., 'Australia - a Cenozoic History' in History of Geomorphology and Quaternary Geology, Grapes, R. H., Oldroyd, D. R. and Grigelis, A., eds (London: Geological Society, 2008), pp. 189-203. Details
  • Branagan, David; Vallance, Thomas, 'The Earth Sciences: Searching for Geological Order' in The Commonwealth of Science: ANZAAS and the Scientific Enterprise in Australasia, 1888-1988, Roy MacLeod, ed. (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 130-146. Details
  • Darragh, T. A.; Branagan, D. F., 'History' in Geology of Victoria, William D. Birch, ed. (Sydney: Geological Society of Australia (Victoria Division), 2003), pp. 671-685. Details
  • Vallance, T. G.; Branagan, D. F., 'Murray, Reginald Augustus Frederick (1846-1925), geologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 5 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1974), pp. 321-322. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A050367b.htm. Details
  • Vallance, T. G.; Branagan, D. F., 'David, Sir Tannatt William Edgeworth (1858-1934), Geologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle, eds, vol. 8 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1981), pp. 218-221. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080242b.htm. Details

Conference Papers

  • Branagan, D. F., 'David's Early Work, and his Predecessors', in Edgeworth David Day Symposium: Geological Mapping of Two Southern Continents: the Geological Mapping of Australia - From David to 1:50000; the Geology of Antarctica-Exploration to Exploitation? edited by D. F. Branagan; G. S. Gibbons and K. S. Williams (Sydney: Edgeworth David Society, 1988), pp. 5-10.. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'The Waistland-Three Centuries of Mineral Exploration in the Pacific Region', in Useful and Curious Geological Enquiries Beyond the World: Pacific-Asia Historical Themes: The 19th International INHIGEO Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 4-8 July, 1994 edited by D. F. Branagan and G. H. McNally (Sydney: International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences, 1994), pp. 14-29.. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'The Broken Hill Orebody, New South Wales, Australia: the First Ten Geological Years', in Mineral Search in the South-West Pacific Region: A Memorial to Ken Glasson, the Eighth Edgeworth David Day Symposium, Sydney, September 1995 edited by R.A. Facer and D.F. Branagan (Springwood, Victoria: Conference Publications, 1995).. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'The Sydney-Newcastle Railway: 19th Century Engineering Geology?', in 29th Sydney Basin Symposium, Proceedings (1995), pp. 125-132.. Details
  • Branagan, David, 'Thomas George Vallance, 1928-1993', in Useful and Curious Geological Enquiries beyond the World: Pacific-Asia Historical Themes: The 19th International INHIGEO Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 4-8 July, 1994 edited by D. F. Branagan and G. H. McNally (Sydney: International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences, 1994), pp. ix-xxi.. Details
  • Branagan, David F., 'Streams of Fire, Burning Mountains, Pumice and Volcanic Activity at No Very Remote Period: Volcanism in the Australian Region, the Search for Understanding to 1860', in Proceedings of the 20th INHEIGEO Symposium, Napoli-Eolie-Catania (Italy), 19-25 September, 1995 edited by Nicoletta Morello (Genoa: Brigati, 1998), pp. 23-45.. Details

Edited Books

  • Branagan, D. F. ed., Rocks, Fossils, Profs: Geological Sciences in the University of Sydney, 1866-1973 (Sydney: Science Press, 1973), 184 pp. Details
  • Branagan, D.; Holland, G. ed., Ever Reaping Something New: a Science Centenary (Sydney: University of Sydney Press, 1985), 256 pp. Details
  • Branagan, David ed., Science in a Sea of Commerce: the Journal of a South Seas Trading Venture (1825-27) by Samuel Stutchbury (Northbridge, NSW: D.F. Branagan, 1996), 1996 pp. Details
  • Cooper, B. J.;Branagan, D. F. ed., Rock Me Hard...Rock me Soft: a History of the Geological Society of Australia Incorporated (Sydney: The Geological Society of Australia Incorporated, 1994), 194 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Anon, 'Citation for David Branagan [Tom Vallance Medal]: presentation to Dr David Branagan; reply by David Branagan', Newsletter, Earth Sciences History Group, 43 (2012), 4-7. Details
  • Branagan, D., 'Putting Geology on the Map: Edgeworth David and the Geology of the Commonwealth of Australia', Historical Records of Australian Science, 5 (2) (1981), 30-57. http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/HR9810520030.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D., 'The Pole and the Permian', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 110 (1998), 1-30. Details
  • Branagan, D., 'Carsten Egeberg Borchgrevink (1864-1934): the man who claimed to be the first to set foot on Antarctica', Earth Sciences History, 33 (1) (2014), 67-121. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'History of Science in Australia: Scientific clubs, museums, and men of letters', Scan, 1 (9/10) (1968), 24-29. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'History of Science in Australia. Pt. 5. Sir Joseph and the botanists', Scan, 1 (5) (1968), 17-22. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'History of Science in Australia. Pt. 9. Engineers and Artisans', Scan, 2 (1) (1969), 20-26. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Words, actions, people: 150 years of the scientific societies in Australia', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 104 (1972), 123-41. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'The Challenger expedition and Australian science', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 73 (1972), 85-95. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Charles Lyell and the Pacific Region - an Exchange of Knowledge and Ideas', Records of the Australian Academy of Science, 3 (4) (1977), 7-25. http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/HR9770340007.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Georgina King: Geological Prophet or Lost?', The University of Sydney Archives Record (1982), 4-9. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Strzelecki's Geological Map of Southeastern Australia: an Eclectic Synthesis', Historical Records of Australian Science, 6 (3) (1986), 375-392. http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/HR9860630375.htm. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., '200 years of Australian Geology', Australian Science Teachers Journal, 34 (2) (1988), 66-70. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Alfred Selwyn - 19th century trans-Atlantic connections via Australia', Earth sciences history, 9 (2) (1990), 143-57. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Bricks, Brawn and Brains - Two Centuries of Geology & Engineering in the Sydney Region', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 129 (1996), 1-32. Details
  • Branagan, D. F., 'Carsten Egeberg Borchgrevink (1864-1934): the Man Who Claimed to be the First to Set Foot on Antarctica', Earth Sciences History, 33 (1) (2014), 67-121. Details
  • Branagan, D. F. and Townley, K. A., 'The geological sciences in Australia - a brief historical review', Earth science reviews, 12 (2/3) (1976), 323-46. Details
  • Branagan, D. F. and Vallance, T. G., 'The Geological Society of Australasia (1885-1905)', Journal of the Geological Society of Australia, 14 (2) (1967), 349-51. Details
  • Branagan, David, 'Samuel Stutchbury: a Natural History Voyage to the Pacific, 1825-27 and its Consequences', Archives of Natural History, 20 (1993), 69-91. Details
  • Branagan, David, 'Seeking Edgeworth David, Knight in the Old Brown Hat', National Library of Australia News, 9 (11) (1999), 7-11. Details
  • Branagan, David, 'Davidite and Other Early Events in Australia's Uranium Story', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 140 (2007), 1-9. Details
  • Branagan, David, 'Lawrence Drake', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 141 (2008), 54. Details
  • Branagan, David, 'Vanished geological societies/groups: ?vanished records and memories', Earth Sciences History Group Newsletter, 44 (2013), 53-6. Details
  • Branagan, David, 'David Oldroyd (1936-2014)', Earth Sciences History, 34 (1) (2015), 152-4. Details
  • Branagan, David, 'Hilary ("Larry") James Harrington', INHIGEO Annual Record, 48 (2016), 33-4. Details
  • Branagan, David, 'Women in geology: the travails of Joan Beattie, a would-be researcher', Newsletter, Earth Sciences History Group, 45 (2018), 40-3. Details
  • Branagan, David and Moore, D. T., 'W. H. Fitton's Geology of Australia's Coasts, 1826', Historical Records of Australian Science, 19 (1) (2008), 1-51. Details
  • Branagan, David and O'Connor, Daniel, 'Edmund C. Potter', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 141 (2008), 55. Details
  • Branagan, David F., 'Samuel Stutchbury and His Manuscripts', Bulletin of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 21 (1984), 1-15. Details
  • Branagan, David F., 'Samuel Stutchbury and the Australian Museum', Records of the Australian Museum. Supplement, 15 (1992), 99-110. Details
  • Branagan, David F., 'Australia's First Marble Quarry', Journal of Australasian Mining History, 7 (2009), 1-16. Details
  • Branagan, David F., 'The Russian Expedition's Sydney Visit in 1820 and Some Forgotten Blue Mountains Names', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 143 (1/2) (2010), 1-28. Details
  • Branagan, David F., 'Edgeworth David's Try - Real or Imagined', Record (The University of Sydney Archives), 2011 (2011), 18024. Details
  • Branagan, David F., 'Fleshing out the Landscape: Two centuries of Australia's geological heroes', Episodes (International Union of Geological Sciences), 35 (2012), 44-56. Details
  • Branagan, David F., 'The Open-cut Era (late 1940s - mid 1960s) in the Western Coalfield of New South Wales: Including Some Autobiographical Memories', Journal of Australasian Mining History, 10 (2012), 12-25. Details
  • Branagan, David; Lim, Elaine, 'J.W. Gregory, Traveller in the Dead Heart', Historical Records of Australian Science, 6 (1) (1984), 71-84. http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/HR9840610071.htm. Details
  • Macleod, Roy and Branagan, David, 'The Architect and the Statesman: Archibald Liversidge, Edgeworth David and the Spirit of Science in Sydney, 1874-1934', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 143 (3/4) (2010), 3-17. Details
  • Zeller, Susanne and Branagan, David, 'Australian-Canadian Links in a Geological Chain: Sir William Logan, Dr Alfred Selwyn and Henry Y. L. Brown', Special edition of Scientia Canadensis, 17 (1&2) (1994), 71-102. Details

Resources

Reviews

  • "The Burning Mists of Time": a Technological and Social History of Mining at Katoomba
    Branagan, David, Journal of Australasian Mining History, 8, 190-3. Details
  • Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria (ed.), The Victorian Naturalist: McCoy Special issues, parts 1 and 2, vol. 118, no. 5/6, 2001, 145-332 pp.
    Branagan, David, Historical Records of Australian Science, 14 (2), (2002), 222-225. http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=HR02011.pdf. Details
  • Macleod, Roy (ed.), 'Nature and Empire: Science and the Colonial Enterprise', Osiris, vol. 15, 2000.
    Branagan, David; Robin, Libby, Historical Records of Australian Science, 14 (2), (2002), 236-237. http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=HR02011.pdf. Details
  • Branagan, David, T. W. Edgeworth David: a Life (2005)
    Thompson, John, Australian Book Review, 277, (2005), 51. Details

See also

  • Aroney, M. J.; Buckingham, A. D., 'Raymond James Wood Le Fèvre 1905-1986', Historical Records of Australian Science, 7 (3) (1988), 273-297. http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/HR9880730273.htm. Details
  • MacLeod, Roy ed., The Commonwealth of Science: ANZAAS and the Scientific Enterprise in Australasia, 1888-1988 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1988), 433 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn