Report

History of Seismology Meeting

This meeting was held at College Court, University of Leicester, UK on the 9th and 10th April 2015 sponsored by the British Geophysical Association, the History of Physics Group of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Geological Society, Guralp Systems plc, Ophir Energy plc, and Shell Global Solutions, BV
From Hooke to Helioseismology – the UK’s contribution to seismology – past, present and future

The full programme, abstracts, and speaker biographies can be accessed via News and Events – History of Seismology Meeting in the adjoining Navigation pane.

The UK has a rich history in the science of Seismology, and it is just over 100 years since the death of John Milne, the man who introduced the word ‘seismometer’ to the science. At a time when major facets of the subject are being, perhaps have been superseded - for example onshore controlled source crustal seismology by passive seismic methods - and so are becoming ‘historical’, this meeting was designed to explore the UK’s contribution to Seismology.  While science does not recognize national boundaries, the seismological work that has been undertaken in the UK since at least the time of Robert Hooke and the founding of the Royal Society is peculiarly amenable to presentation at an Institute of Physics History of Physics Group sponsored meeting.

The meeting was divided into four sessions; Earthquakes, Instruments and Institutions, Controlled Source Seismology and Crustal Studies, and Passive Seismology. To ensure the content was not just a reflection of science past, the sessions included topics that highlighted outstanding current work, speakers being asked to consider future trends in their particular field.

Twenty-two speakers covered such varied topics as Early British Thinking on Earthquakes, Prediction, Earthquakes and the Formation of a Mid-Ocean Ridge, Test-ban Verification, Schools’ Seismology, the UK Seismic Network, Seismology and the Oil and Gas Industry, Tomography and the Outer Earth, Anisotropy, Interferometry and Seismic Noise, Helioseismology, and more.

A total of 26 posters were displayed, again over an eclectic mix of topics within the science, and the participants themselves were drawn from an international field; the UK, Australia, Ethiopia, Germany, Malta, Switzerland and the United States.

The meeting encouraged vigorous discussion and debate, and a report was produced and published in the October 2015 edition of the RAS journal, Astronomy and Geophysics.

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