Communicating earthquake science – Mark Quigley

Scientists must engage with the public and the media on disaster issues, warns one of New Zealand’s most public-facing earthquake scientists, otherwise misinformation will fill the gap. 

Dr Mark  Quigley, Senior Lecturer in Active Tectonics and Geomorphology, University of Canterbury spoke this week at the joint PCST / Science Communicators Association of New Zealand conference in Christchurch. His keynote address, titled, ‘Communicating earthquake science: roles and public obligations of the practising scientist’, can be listened to below.

Mark QuigleyMark is an enthusiastic communicator of science, having appeared in the media several hundreds of times over the last few years, participating in numerous televsion programs and documentaries, and writing articles for the press, science blogs, and popular science magazines. In 2011 Mark was awarded the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Communication and the New Zealand Association of Scientists Science Communication Award for his work in communicating earthquake science to the public in the aftermath of the Darfield and Christchurch earthquakes.

Mark is an active research scientist with numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles on topics primarily related to active tectonics, climate change and landscape processes. Due to the 2010-2012 Canterbury earthquake sequence, much of Mark’s present research is focused in Christchurch and the surrounding area of the eastern-central South Island of New Zealand.