The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) will hold a special lecture tonight exploring the unpredictable nature of earthquakes.

Special guest, Professor John McCloskey, Chair in Natural Hazards Science, The University of Edinburgh, will speak at this Statutory Public Lecture on Wednesday, 12 December, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the Schrodinger Theatre, Fitzgerald Building, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2.

Announcing details of the event, Director of the School of Geophysics at DIAS, Professor Chris Bean said: “From Zhang Heng’s development of the first seismoscope during the Han dynasty, to Dubliner Robert Mallet’s experiments on Killiney Beach in the nineteenth century, scientists have persisted in trying to understand earthquakes and to use this understanding to reduce their catastrophic effects largely through ‘earthquake prediction’.

“However, earthquakes have killed almost a million people already this century, and the goal of earthquake prediction is probably farther away than we could have ever anticipated. In this lecture we will hear why prediction is so illusive but we will also hear that all is not lost and that there is ‘another way’.

“Although lacking the timing precision of a prediction, new developments in earthquake-weather forecasts allow us to estimate how big the largest earthquakes are likely to be – and where (but not precisely when) they are likely to occur. This lecture we explore how this knowledge can be used in a preventative manner today, and in the planning of cities that are yet to be built.”

This Statutory Public Lecture: ‘Forecasting the Unpredictable: Earthquake science in a crowded world’ is free to attend and pre-registration is not required. Further details available at:

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