In the early hours of Monday, a powerful earthquake hit Kahramanmaras in Turkey. Nine hours later another struck. When this edition of Science in Action first aired, 19,000 people were reported to have died, but that number was expected to rise.
Back in 2016, Professor Asli Garagon and her colleagues accurately predicted that an earthquake of this size was coming. Using GPS, they were monitoring the East Anatolian fault to calculate energy building between the plates. With such accurate insight could Turkey have been better prepared?
Ross Stein, seismologist and founder of Temblor, a Californian consultancy that specialises in assessing hazard risk, estimates the plates moved at 5,000 mph. The movement of the plates may have built up pressure in other parts of the country.
And finally, Tiziana Rossetto, a civil engineer at University College London, knows better than most that earthquakes do not kill, buildings do. She tells Roland how the combination of earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks appear to have even destroyed buildings that were purposely built to withstand them.
Also, Why does the thought of giving a talk to an audience fill so many of us with sheer terror? Marnie Chesterton investigates for listener Nhial, who has seen his fellow students in Morocco become panic stricken at the prospect and wants to know the reason for our anxiety. According to one study, 77 per cent of us share that fear.
Marnie finds out about the relationship between stress, our brains and our voices from research associate Dr Maria Dietrich at the University Hospital, Bonn University. She talks to Nhial’s tutor, Professor Taoufik Jaafari, at Hassan II University of Casablanca about the challenges facing his students. And she visits the National Theatre in London to get some expert training from Jeannette Nelson, head of voice, who works with some of the world’s leading actors.
Could there be an evolutionary explanation for the purpose of public speaking? Is it something we actually need to be good at? Marnie asks evolutionary psychologist Professor Robin Dunbar at Oxford University and gets some surprising answers. She meets psychologist Dr Preethi Premkumar at London South Bank University, who has developed virtual reality therapy with colleagues at Nottingham Trent University, and tries out the treatment herself.
Image: Aftermath of the deadly earthquake in Gaziantep
Credit: REUTERS/Dilara Senkaya
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