Two years ago, the Department of Geosciences of the University of Malta submitted a bid to hold the next General Assembly of the European Seismological Commission in Valletta. The capital city won the bid, in competition with three other major cities, despite Malta being the second smallest country represented in the Commission. The ESC holds its General Assembly every two years in a different European city, the last one being held in Trieste, Italy. 

The ESC mission is to promote the science of seismology within the scientific community of the European and Mediterranean countries (encompassing the area from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to the Ural Mountains and from the Arctic Ocean to northern Africa) by promoting research studies, to extend and enhance scientific co-operation and to train young scientists.

It also promotes collaboration with scientists in other continents, as well as interdisciplinary studies with other geoscientists, earthquake engineers, planners, educators and policy-makers. The General Assembly is primarily a meeting ground for academics and researchers working in the field of seismology (including earth structure, earthquake source mechanisms, seismicity, etc) and related applications, including applied and social aspects of seismology, such as earthquake hazard and risk, seismicity induced by anthropic activities, earthquake engineering, education and awareness and risk prevention.

It promotes collaboration with scientists in other continents

The 36th General Assembly will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre between September 2 and 7. Early-bird registration is now closed and shows a record number of participants of around 700. More than 1,000 abstracts for presentations have been submitted, covering an impressive range of topics.  These will be divided among oral presentations, taking place in six parallel sessions, and scientific poster presentations to be exhibited in the imposing Sacra Infermeria Hall. We anticipate over 100 new posters to be put up daily. Keynote lecturers include a number of leading names in seismology, coming from Italy, Czech Republic, France, Turkey, US and Japan. The Sacra Infermeria will also host a number of exhibitors, mainly manufacturers of scientific instruments, scientific publishers and research institutions.  

Keeping with tradition, the General Assembly will be preceded by a week-long Young Seismologists Training Course, this year dedicated to the theme of ‘Array seismology’. The course will be led by a number of international experts in the field and will take place at the University Residence, Lija. 

Around 40 participants will take part, including 10 African students who are fully sponsored by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation, of which Malta is a signatory, and provides a National Data Centre. One of the aims of the CTBTO is to monitor worldwide nuclear explosions through global seismic arrays, and its personnel will be contributing to the course. 

The conference and training course are benefitting from support by a number of local and international bodies, mainly the Ministry of Finance, Conventions Malta, European Geosciences Union and the International Association for Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior, besides other sponsors.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us