The Cow-pat Agenda. "Fields of Discovery: Australia's CSIRO", by Brad Collis. [review]

Thumbnail Image
Robin, Libby
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Australian Book Review
If you are looking for a rattling good yarn of national success that is, for a change, neither military nor sporting, "Fields of Discovery" is your book. Rich with Eureka moments, Brad Collis has created a great read. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is ‘an Australian icon’ according to the book’s front flap. It provides a framework for a national(ist) story with scientists as heroes. Science is a very important and distinctive aspect of Australian nationhood, but frequently sidelined by cultural historians. The challenge is to write an interesting narrative about ‘Big Science’, which is typically dominated by large teams of workers and labyrinthine administrative structures. Collis has grasped the nettle of the ‘human-sized narrative’ with great success.
Australian fiction, Book review
Robin, Libby 2002. The Cow-pat Agenda. Review of "Fields of Discovery: Australia's CSIRO" by Brad Collis. 'Australian Book Review', No 242, June/July, 35-36.