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Sounding the Limits of LifeEssays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond$
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Stefan Helmreich

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164809

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164809.001.0001

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Time And The Tsunami

Time And The Tsunami

Indian Ocean, 2004

(p.106) Chapter 9 Time And The Tsunami
Sounding the Limits of Life

Stefan Helmreich

Sophia Roosth

Michele Friedner

Princeton University Press

This chapter reports on an oceanographic conference held in Goa, India, just after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. It describes the various kinds of time—of the ocean, of scientific research, of disaster, of governance—through which scientists and others grappled with the disaster and its implications. A last-minute addition to the conference schedule, a talk, “The Recent Seismic Event off Sumatra,” was delivered by Satish Singh, a geoscientist from the Institute de Physique du Globe in Paris. In a setting in which “geological time” had been the organizing catchphrase— and an epistemological mooring for scientific objectivity— Singh's talk came closest to summoning up the uncertainties in scale that characterize oscillating ocean time, the at-sea feeling that attention to watery time can engender.

Keywords:   oceanographic conference, India, Indian Ocean tsunami, scientific research, Satish Singh, geological time, ocean time

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