Shaking in Our Seats: Earthquake Science on the Big Screen

Sat Nov 12, 2022
1:00pm to 2:30pm
Age: 12 and up
Price: Free
Beckman Auditorium

Whole lotta shakin' going on—on screen that is!

CalTech hosts a free event that looks at the science behind onscreen earthquakes. 

From the 1925 Santa Barbara quake to 1994's Northridge temblor, earthquakes have helped define the physical and cultural landscape of Southern California. For more than a century, Caltech's Seismological Laboratory has transformed understanding of earthquakes and geophysics through advanced instrumentation, data science, experimentation, engineering, and public outreach.

To celebrate the Seismo Lab's centennial, the Caltech Science Exchange, in collaboration with the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society hosts a public event that explores the science behind onscreen earthquakes in films such as 1974's Earthquake and 2015's San Andreas.

Moderated by seismologist Lucy Jones, a panel of scientists, engineers, and public officials provide insight into what happens during and after earthquakes, how scientists and government officials interact, and the future of the field. Audience members can see Hollywood earthquake hits and misses, and have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists.


  • Lucy Jones, Founder, Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society
  • Domniki Asimaki, Caltech Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering
  • Chris Holden, Assemblymember, California State Assembly, 41st District
  • Jon O'Brien, Acting Chief Deputy, Los Angeles County Fire Department
  • Zhongwen Zhan, Caltech Professor of Geophysics

Event is free, but tickets are required.

Prefer to register over the phone? Call the Caltech Ticket Office at 626-395-4652

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