Edward Francis Pigot, Priest-Scientist, 1858-1929

Edward Francis Pigot,
      courtesy Riverview College ArchivesEdward Pigot is an understated and unique individual in Australia's scientific history.  His extraordinary career is summarised at websites such as the Australian Dictionary of Biography, and Wikipedia.  A very readable brief account of his career is also published by the Geological Society of Australia.  Pigot's scientific and personal legacy is a research interest of Dr. David Branagan, who has authored a detailed account of Pigot's career, which was recently published in the The Journal of the History of Earth Sciences Society.  This paper was published in two parts (Vol. 28, No. 1, 2010, pp 69-99, and Vol 29, No. 2, 2010, pp 232-263).  This journal is held at U. Sydney main library.   Details of his career were presented at his very well attended Sydney funeral, written up in The Catholic Press weekly edition of 30 May 1929, page 20.

Dr. Branagan's 2009 radio broadcasts discussing Pigot's career, caught my attention, particularly Pigot's abortive attempts at measuring Earth tides down mine shafts at Cobar, NSW.  Measuring Earth tides is tricky even with all the advantages of modern seismic instrumentation, and would have been extremely challenging in Pigot's day.  I was so taken by Dr. Branagan's lively account of this extraordinary priest-scientist, that I have named my modest seismic observatory in his honour, the Edward Pigot Seismic Observatory. This should not be confused with seismic, astronomical and meteorological observatories that Pigot established at Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney.  These observatories and their educational function at Riverview, continue operations to this day.