After an extended period of study, the National Research Council's Committee on the Science of Earthquakes has finally released its report, Living on an Active Earth: Perspectives on Earthquake Science. As the chairman of the committee that produced the report, I hope it will be effective in documenting the marvelous progress made in earthquake research and in helping scientists and their supporting agencies set a vigorous research agenda for the years ahead. I have to admit, however, that digesting this tome—more than 400 pages long and hardly the type of book one hauls to the beach—could be a challenge....

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