It is my pleasant duty to relate a brief account of Nick's contribution to the subject of seismology. His absence from this award ceremony makes it easier for me to undertake, since he would surely blush from the well-deserved praise that I am about to lavish upon him.

In 1968 Nick Ambraseys gave a lecture in Cambridge that electrified an audience of geophysicists. In 50 short minutes he demonstrated links between engineering and history, earthquakes and civilization, and scientists and society. His talk was an inspiration to everyone in the room in that it revealed that science has an immediacy...

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