Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Predicting the Unpredictable: The Tumultuous Science of Earthquake Prediction Hardcover – December 6, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
"Hough's book, however, is not frustrating at all; it offers an enlightening, fair and insightful look at how one science has dealt with the intersection of an extremely hard problem with legitimate public demands for results. Those of us in other fields who read it may find ourselves profiting from the example someday."--Cosma Shalizi, American Scientist
"In this forensic and engaging overview, Susan Hough presents a frank, entertaining and personal review of the history of ideas, practice, personalities and experience in the science of earthquake prediction. Although Hough is a respected scientist, she takes a journalist's viewpoint here, not shying away from legitimate criticism of those she regards as friends, and taking on the credulous at the edge of, or even beyond, the mainstream scientific."--Ian Main, Times Higher Education
"Susan Hough is all about solid science, and her examples of accepted research that turned out to be dead wrong will resonate with readers suspicious of anybody who predicts the future."--Stephen Matchett, Australian
"Earthquake prediction is on everybody's mind when reports of the horrific event make headlines. Why the failure to predict it, especially in this age of scientific and technological achievements? Hough tells readers why in this deeply interesting, enlightening, and entertaining book. . . . The book skillfully weaves the influence of politics, economics, and psychology into this authentic, delightfully perceptive account of earthquake prediction science."--Choice
"[T]his book can be enjoyed by anyone, but it will be enjoyed most by seismologists because it is a treasure of seismological lore, as well as a useful guide and moral support for those participating in what Susan calls the 'combat sport' of seismic prediction research."--F. A. Nava, Pure and Applied Geophysics
"This book is sparkling, entertaining, and a good read and . . . it is a rocking piece of literature. It keeps a delicate balance between the genuine scientific efforts and the difficulties, which scientists face in prediction science."--Afroz A. Shah, Geosciences Journal
Top Customer Reviews
Susan Hough, a seismologist herself, reviews the history of such predictions, and concludes that they cannot. Perhaps they will be able to in the future. But right now, seismologists can't say exactly what sets off an earthquake; without this understanding, they can't make solid predictions. Attempts have been made to correlate earthquakes and various observed phenomena like tidal pressure, water flow, electric currents in the ground, and unusual animal behavior. But nothing has really worked, at least well enough to mean anything, You can predict that there will be large earthquakes in earthquake country sometime, but you can't give a date and place.
Dr. Hough reviews the whole history of the subject. She writes well and manages to explain the subject in a nontechnical way. All in all, this is an excellent book for those wanting to learn about an interesting scientific subject.
I think those working on this subject should read carefully this book.
The only point that I would like to make a comment not so positive refers to the title (“Predicting the Unpredictable”), which (in my opinion) is very pessimistic about the possibility of obtaining future positive results, giving connotation of impossibility.
Although important authors such as Kanamori and Brodsky (Rep. Prog. Phys. 67 (2004) 1429–1496), have said that with the current state of the science, accurate earthquake prediction can only be accomplished in decades, if not centuries away, I think accurate earthquake prediction will be accomplished in a nearer future.
Francisco G. Emmerich
Federal University of Espirito Santo
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have the hard cover version of the book. Unfortunately, my copy seems full of typographical omissions and proofreading errors. For example:
1. Read more
Radon emissions and animals acting fidgety are not ominous signs of pending earthquakes. Knowing the current limits on knowledge will help you act in positive ways to better... Read morePublished on June 7, 2013 by L. Thomas Tobin