The Science Behind Earthquake Movies

To celebrate the Caltech Seismological Laboratory’s centennial, the Caltech Science Exchange, in collaboration with the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, will host a public event that explores the science behind onscreen earthquakes in films such as 1974’s Earthquake and 2015’s San Andreas.

Shaking in Our Seats: Earthquake Science on the Big Screen will take place in Beckman Auditorium on Caltech’s campus on Saturday, November 12, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The event is free, but tickets are required. Guests are invited to arrive early for an earthquake preparedness fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

From the 1925 Santa Barbara quake to 1994’s Northridge temblor, earthquakes have helped define the physical and cultural landscape of Southern California. For more than a century, the Caltech Seismo Lab has transformed understanding of earthquakes and geophysics through advanced instrumentation, data science, experimentation, engineering, and public outreach. At this live event, a panel of scientists, engineers, and public officials moderated by Lucy Jones will provide insight into what happens during and after earthquakes, how scientists and government officials interact, and the future of the field. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists during the event, or submit questions in advance.

Moderator: Lucy Jones, Founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society and Caltech Visiting Associate in Geophysics


This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Those who prefer to register over the phone can call the Caltech Ticket Office at 626-395-4652.

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