This paper analyzes how the earthquake predictions of the Austrian popularizer Rudolf Falb (1838-1903) were received by different audiences on the South American Pacific Coast. Specifically, it focuses on the repercussions it had on the Ecuadorian scientific community, an aspect that has not been studied so far and where the Jesuits played an important role in the public discussion of these theories. Through an analysis of the newspapers and of the main pamphlets and reports published in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Chile between 1869 and 1887, it was possible to determine that many scholars and scientists in this region were active audiences of Falb’s proposals, appropriating his knowledge and seeking correlations between different phenomena that would allow a better understanding of earthquakes. Local scientists were called upon to help calm the collective panic, prompting temporary mitigation measures by communities and governments. In addition, the public’s interest in knowing when the next earthquake would occur was exploited by enlightened men to present their own theories and interpretations to the public.
|Título traducido de la contribución
|The public discussion of Rudolf Falb’s earthquake forecasts in Ecuador and the South American Pacific Coast (1869-1889)
|Número de páginas
|Publicada - sep. 2021
- Rudolf Falb
- seismic predictions