Article ID: CBB843098907

Earthquake Prediction, Biological Clocks, and the Cold War Psy-Ops: Using Animals as Seismic Sensors in the 1970s California (2018)


A familiar story of seismology is that of a small field originally focused on local studies of earthquakes through diverse disciplinary perspectives being transformed, in the second half of the twentieth century, into a highly specialized field focused on global studies of the earth's deep interior via sophisticated instruments and transnational networks of seismological stations. Against this backdrop, this essay offers a complementing account, highlighting the significance of local circumstances and disciplinary agendas that were contingent not only on transformations in the geophysical sciences but also on the concurrently changing biological sciences during the Cold War. Using examples of the studies of unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes conducted under the auspices of the US Geological Survey on the West Coast of the United States in the 1970s, this essay examines a variety of motivations behind the attempts to bridge geophysics and biology. These examples illustrate the ways in which earthquake prediction became entangled with concerns over the use of seismological data, pioneering research on biological rhythms, and the troubled field of Cold War-driven military brain studies.

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Article Lino Camprubí; Philipp Lehmann (2018) The Scales of Experience: Introduction to the Special Issue Experiencing the Global Environment. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (pp. 1-5). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Fan, Fa-ti
Snježana Markušić
Jusseret, Simon
Ines Ivančić
Sintubin, Manuel
Dvorak, John
Western Historical Quarterly
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Social Studies of Science
Science in Context
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
University of Washington Press
Rowman & Littlefield
Pegasus Books
Leuven University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of Minnesota
Cold War
Earth sciences
Science and war; science and the military
Mohorovičić, Andrija
Willis, Bailey
Speeth, Sheridan Dauster
Hill, Robert Thomas
Flamsteed, John
Evans, Arthur, Sir
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century, early
19th century
17th century
Early modern
California (U.S.)
United States
Adriatic sea
Los Angeles (California)
Saudi Arabia
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; Partial Test Ban Treaty; Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963)

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