Professor preparing for seismic disaster

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Popular television geologist and president of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS), Professor Iain Stewart, is the last speaker of the season to come to Galashiels as part of the RSGS Inspiring People public talk series.

Nearly becoming involved in acting in his youth, Professor Stewart chose to study geology at university instead.

His love of performing has been realised through his extensive television work, which started by accident and has grown despite maintaining his day job as director of the Sustainable Earth Institute at Plymouth University.

Behind this popular academic television presenter is a father from East Kilbride who likes going to the shops with his girls on Saturdays and finding family time when not away filming for up to a year.

His latest talk discusses Turkey’s North Anatolian Fault, which is primed for seismic rupture and it is likely that a future destructive earthquake will be within striking distance of Istanbul.

So how do you prepare a city of over 13 million people for a potential seismic calamity?

Drawing on examples from Japan and Italy, as well as Turkey, Professor Stewart explores the fault lines between reason and faith in communicating to at-risk communities the myth of solid ground.

Regarding Professor Stewart’s impact on the popularisation of geographical issues, Mike Robinson, CEO of RSGS, has said: “RSGS is an educational charity that aims to inspire a greater interest in our planet and Iain’s programmes do that brilliantly.”

You can hear Professor Stewart’s talk on Tuesday, February 23 at 7.30pm in Heriot-Watt University’s Borders Campus in Galashiels.

Inspiring People talks are open to all and cost £8 per person, but are free to RSGS members, under-18s and students.