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Seismology: Robert Mallet
We often think of Silicon Valley as the cradle of American technological innovation. Intel, Apple, Oracle, Cisco, Hewlett Packard — just to name a few, are all headquartered there.
But Silicon Valley, as well as the entire San Francisco Bay Area and many parts of the world that are susceptible to siesmic activity, would have no understanding of earthquakes and how to anticipate and record their activity, and the entire science of earthquake-proofing buildings and other structures would not have come to fruition, if it were not for the development of Instrumental Seismology in the 1840s, which was invented by Robert Mallet, an Irishman.