Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Vale Dr David Branagan AM FRSN

RSNSW Logo The Royal Society of NSW records with great regret the passing of one of its Past Presidents, Dr David F. Branagan AM FRSN, on 9 January 2022 at the age of 91.

David Branagan was born in Broken Hill in 1930 and combined his love of geology with his equally strong love of singing and choral music, in which he was heavily involved. He was amongst Australia's foremost geologists with an international reputation in the history of geology and geologists in Australasia, a field in which he made outstanding and original contributions for over fifty years. He wrote the authoritative biography of Professor T W Edgeworth David, the famous Antarctic explorer and Professor of Geology at the University of Sydney, and also a former President of the Society. This outstanding work was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

A long-standing geological educator and academic at the University of Sydney, he is perhaps best known in geological circles for his co-authorship of the standard definitive and comprehensive handbook on the Field Geology of NSW, in conjunction with his colleague Gordon Packham.

Dr Branagan was a steadfast supporter of the Society, exemplified by his commitment to the work conducted by the Society to document and report on its extensive library collection. He was appointed by the Society to work on the National Library of Australia’s Community Heritage Grant project which the Society was awarded in 2006/7. This has formed the basis for much of the work currently being undertaken on the Society’s collection. David very kindly donated a portion of his archives and his comprehensive scientific library to the Society.

Dr Branagan served as President of the Society in 1995 and was awarded the Royal Society of NSW Medal for services to science and the Society in 1998. 

The Council of the Society extends its deep condolences to his family on their sad loss. A memorial service is expected to be held at a later date.

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