Exploration: The Globe and Beyond
Before the satellite age, geoscientific exploration often depended on the observations of local citizens, who helped scientists build up regional maps of climate and seismicity. For these volunteers, earth science was a way to come to terms with the expanding horizons of the nineteenth century. Tracking weather patterns, seasonal changes, or seismic waves opened the imagination to unfamiliar geographic scales. But how did the experiences of laypeople actually function as scientific evidence, including at Caltech? And what light might this history shed on the challenges of communicating science today?