J. Freeman Gilbert, professor of geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, has been awarded a 1990 Balzan Prize in honor of his contributions to solid earth geophysics. The award, which includes a cash prize of approximately $230,000, was presented to Gilbert earlier this month in a ceremony at Rome's Academia Lincei, the world's oldest scientific society. The Balzan Prizes, three of which were awarded this year, are presented annually by the International Balzan Foundation of Milan, Italy. The foundation was established in 1956 to recognize contributions in areas ranging from literature and the arts to the physical and natural sciences. Past winners include Pope John XXIII, author Jorge Luis Borges, Mother Teresa di Calcutta, and the Nobel Foundation.

Gilbert pioneered the establishment of global networks of seismic instruments. Through these networks, he says, researchers can measure the oscillations of the earth after an earthquake and,...

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