Which earthquake accounts matter?; reply
Seismological Research Letters (November 2021) 93 (1): 506-511
We thank David Wald (Wald, 2021; henceforth, W21) for his interest in our recent article (Hough and Martin, 2021; henceforth, HM21). Although different perspectives are vital in science, we are concerned that W21 misrepresents HM21 as an oblique criticism of the U.S. Geological Survey "Did You Feel It?" (DYFI) system, calling for HM21 to be retracted. Readers who are interested in the issues raised by HM21 and the statements made by us therein are referred to that article. In this brief reply, we respond to specific accusations made by W21 and return to the focus of HM21, calling attention to the extent to which macroseismic data sets and inferences drawn from them can be shaped by a lack of representation among individuals whose observations are available to science. HM21 never questioned the benefits of the community science DYFI project to science. HM21 noted, however, and we reiterate here, that community science also potentially benefits the community. Whether or not it matters for science, if participation in community science projects is unrepresentative across socioeconomic groups, it underscores the need for the scientific community to be proactive in its efforts to reach out to groups that have been underserved by current outreach and education programs. We appreciate this opportunity to continue the important conversation about representation.