The Australian Neutron Beam Users Group was first established on 19 April, 1979. Professor Ken Taylor (UNSW) was the first Chairman with Dr Frank Moore (AINSE) the first Honorary Secretary. The initial group comprised around 35-40 members, growing steadily to around 80 members by 1990. During this period ANBUG was instrumental in maintaining neutron science in the forefront of the scientific political arena and provided documentation to several government agencies and review processes with a view to enhancing HIFAR facilities (e.g. submissions to the Minister for National Development and the Australian Science and Technology Council). ANBUG and its engagements with the scientific community and political agencies continued in this way to around 1993. However, the lack of funding for HIFAR, combined with major developments and improvements to neutron facilities overseas (which contributed in part to the development of “suitcase science”) led to a dwindling of ANBUG in the second half of the 1990s.
The decision by the Australian Government in the late 1990s to fund a new Research Reactor, combined with related funding and staffing appointments in neutron science for OPAL, led to the new ANBUG constitution being established in 2001. ANBUG has gone from strength to strength since then and currently has over 330 members.
Open Constitution: ANBUG welcomes members from throughout the World who “… have an interest in neutron beam research and are interested in furthering and assisting the achievement of the objectives of the Society.” The success of ANBUG’s constitution is indicated by the growth in membership with members drawn from throughout the World. The openness and accessibility of ANBUG is demonstrated by the fact that members of the Executive Committee include members from Australia and overseas, including a current member from New Zealand.