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Good science

Tuesday, April 18, 2006
In the news this week is the centennial of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Listening to a report on NPR this morning, they made mention of the Lawson report, a scientific report made to Congress that detailed what happened during the earthquake.

Think about this: a hundred years ago a natural disaster struck California. The result was that immediately dozens of scientists were sent out to notice and record everything relevant that they could. They did such a great job (with the tools avaialable at the time) that the data is still being used today and the document - a century old - is still held in high regard in the scientific community.

I just think that's really awesome that someone saw this event and said "we need to study this" and gathered everything they could about it, despite the fact that seismology was still a relatively new science. The NPR report talks about measuring how it felt by milk splashing in a pan versus headstones being sheared apart. I just found it to be fascinating, and anyone who can should listen to the reports as well.

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