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Pierre Gouin's unique personality touched all those fortunate enough to encounter him, for he was a warm and wise man of intense dedication equally to science and to the poor. In 1956 he founded the Geophysical Observatory of Addis Ababa (GOAA), and over the next 22 years he built up its remote facilities in seismology, geomagnetism, and gravity studies to recognized standards. Providence, too, arranged for his observatory to be located on a tectonic triple-junction, where the African Rift system meets with the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden seafloor spreading zones.

Pierre was born 13 September 1917 in...

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