Joint Statement

Release Date: October 7, 1997 This content is archived.


Joint Statement by Chancellor Robert Berdahl of the University of California at Berkeley, President William R. Greiner of the University at Buffalo, and Chancellor Michael Aiken of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The National Science Foundation’s decision to extend and expand its support of earthquake-engineering research will bolster the ongoing scientific efforts at the University of California at Berkeley, the University at Buffalo and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of earthquakes around the world.

Through its commitment of $30 million over the next five years to fund basic research and public outreach at Berkeley, Buffalo and Illinois, NSF assures that we will be able to build on the progress already made by our institutions, and other institutions with which we work as a consortium. These funds will substantially enhance our abilities to develop effective strategies for further reducing the loss of life and major physical devastation from future seismic shocks.

While earthquakes cannot be prevented, researchers at our institutions have shown already that we can build structures that will withstand quakes of high magnitudes; we can retrofit existing buildings, bridges and highways to minimize their vulnerability to quakes, and we can improve the design and construction of the vital linkages on which our commerce and life-support systems depend.

There is much yet to be accomplished in this field of scientific inquiry. Berkeley, Buffalo, and Illinois are prepared to provide the research leadership that will ultimately benefit people throughout the globe and place the United States at the forefront of scientific progress in earthquake-hazard mitigation. NSF’s investment will be returned many-fold through the prevention of earthquake damage that can easily climb into the billions of dollars and the loss of life that never can be measured in financial terms.

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