Events

Measurement and the Moving Earth: How Mexican Engineering Identities Shape Seismic Risk Management
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 4:00pm
Measurement and the Moving Earth: How Mexican Engineering Identities Shape Seismic Risk Management

Measurement and the Moving Earth: How Mexican Engineering Identities Shape Seismic Risk Management

Wednesday, May 22nd

4:00 PM, CH 287

Mexico's public earthquake early warning system is described by its designers as an engineer's technology, and not a scientist's. It is, they say, informed by approaches to measurement, analysis, and risk management that are distinct to their discipline. In this talk, I draw on data from ongoing ethnographic fieldwork to demonstrate how engineering identities, as well as material forces and human vulnerabilities, inform the ways that seismicity comes to “count” for earthquake early warning. This talk makes a case for the necessity of attending to the sociotechnical work of imagining, developing and maintaining risk management technologies. 

Elizabeth Reddy studies how experts address risks to human wellbeing. She holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of California at Irvine and a position as a Teaching Assistant Professor of Engineering, Design, & Society at the Colorado School of Mines. Her research is informed by the insights of environmental anthropology and science and technology studies and draws on ethnographic, quantitative, and archival methodologies.  She has contributed to scholarly conversations and practical interventions into engineering education, hospital-patient communication, and earthquake risk management.