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Tatyana Rautian Acceptance Speech for SSA Reid Medal

Dear President von Hillebrandt-Andrade, colleagues, and friends!

It is so amazing to stand here before you to receive the Reid Medal. I feel that Vitaly Khalturin, my dear late husband, friend, and collaborator, stands here next to me. We lived and worked together for more than half a century. He would be so happy today.

Both of my parents were scientists. As a child listening to their stories, it seemed that curiosity was the essential ingredient of scientific work.

I recall that when I was 6 my father explained the idea of positive and negative numbers, that the Earth is a sphere, Archimedes’ Principle, color vision, and the endlessness of Space.

When I was about 13, my mother explained some details of her work, in particular, some puzzling contradictions in her data. I ve learned that those contradictions are the key to solving problems on a deep level. At this point I lost interest in mystery novels. Scientific mysteries seemed to be much more interesting.

Later I read an intriguing book about nuclear fusion inside the Sun. I decided to study nuclear physics at the University in 1948. Soon, however, I realized that being a nuclear scientist meant working on the Big Bomb. I did not like the idea and did not want to work on it.

While university education was free in the USSR, we were not free to choose our work. I was about to be sent to East Siberia as an employee of the KGB. At that critical moment, Vitaly appeared in my life. We married. He said: “KGB? No way! I know the best place in the world – it is Garm in Tajikistan. He conducted lengthy negotiations on my behalf, and finally I was released.

From cold, windy, wet Leningrad with its flat-as-a-table relief, I moved to a fantastic mountainous country, with 350 sunny days per year.

There was no running water, no electricity, no washing machines, no traffic, no theaters, no libraries, no professors, but there were earthquakes! And earthquakes were not only something on photographic paper, but tremors and sometimes a good shaking. I liked it!

I knew almost nothing about seismology at that time. My mother used to say: “If you have a good general education in physics – you can do research in any science related to physics.” At first my job was mostly traditional: developing methods for data processing. At this point we were not ready to study earthquakes as physical processes.

In 1954 Garm evolved from a seismic station into a Seismological Center. Famous seismologists from Moscow started visiting us. One of them, Vladimir Keilis-Borok, asked: “At the very moment, when a rupture starts, does the earthquake know whether it will be large or small?” My inner voice pushed me to answer: “Yes!” As I remember, his opinion was closer to “No.” But that question (“What does an earthquake know about itself?”) quietly lingered in my mind... like a lighthouse.

"The Berlin Wall” collapsed in Garm in 1971. We met and briefly talked with a few American scientists. Lynn Sykes told us about plate tectonics, about which we knew nothing. We discussed our study of the coda with Kei Aki. We briefed Frank Press about all of our work in Garm. Before we knew it, we had begun regular work with Americans. More than just new professional contacts, we come to understand and appreciate each other’s culture and way of thinking.

My work in Garm could not have been possible without the “band pass filtered instrumentation” developed by Konstantin Zapolsky. Each earthquake was no longer just a name and address but became something more, a description of physical process, promising something, still uncertain, but ultimately important.

Zapolsky invented this instrument in the late 1940s, but only in 1970s did Vitaly create a controlled system of observation that exploited it. A huge collection of seismograms were obtained. They became the basis of my most favorite study: of source spectra and source parameters of earthquakes. It led to my understanding of the distribution of cracks and fault sizes, and of stress and strength of them in a fragmented crust. It took 20 years for Zapolsky’s instrument to provide an abundance of data sufficient to reveal earthquakes secrets. I am now sure that “an earthquake knows from the very beginning what it will be.”

For 40 years I lived and worked in the Seismological Center in Garm. ThisCenter was a creation of Igor Nersesov, the result of his work and his worries,the source of his happiness and his disappointments. He created wonderfulconditions for life and work there. In Garm we never worried about writingproposals – that was his duty. I disagreed with Nersesov about earthquakeprediction, and I avoided working on it. Even though he was not happy about it,he tolerated my independent style.
The analog photo-paper seismograms collected during 40 years of work unfortunately were burned in the flames of civil war in Tajikistan from 1992 to 1997, but all my favorite earthquakes, their spectra, all the questions and answers, doubts and riddles are still spinning in my head.

Then, thanks to Paul Richards, Vitaly and I had the opportunity to live in America-the-beautiful and to work at Lamont for 11 years, from 1994 to 2005.

I am grateful to all the wonderful people mentioned earlier, my colleagues in Garm, and many others, who helped me to go my own direction and made life so good. I also thank my children and grandchildren, who had to spend their childhood in Garm’s wilderness, and allowed me to be more of a scientist than a regular mother or grandmother. I hope they forgive me. My work has been my hobby, my pleasure, my lovely toy. I am lucky that I had the opportunity to discover unknowns, to be curious enough to see the beauty of science and to share it with friends. Thank you again for the great honor to stand before you today.

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<< SSA Medal Citation for Tanya Rautian by Peter MolnarTanya Rautian to be honored with top seismology prize, The Reid Medal by Seismological Society of America>>

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Привет дорогие мальчики, Саша Гусев, Юрий Маркович !прощаю вам через чур возвышенные слова. Я жива-здорова с учетом возраста - почему-то все оказались меня моложе :-). Я живу то у Иры в Калифорнии, то у себя дома в Москве, раскапываю историю своих предков и всякой другой родни. Кого только ни нахожу! Ладно бы на Украине, Эстонии или Америке - а то и во Франции и в Парагвае (кто знает, где это - Парагвай?). Это очень популярное помешательство. Мой двоюродный зять довел родословную своей жены - а моей племянницы - аж до самого Вильгельма Завоевателя. Я так далеко не хожу, но все же, все же. Не про одну же сейсмологию думать.
Юрий Маркович - не было ли у тебя родни в Америке, штат New York? Я там видела следы пребывания Тейтельбаумов.
Пишите, рада буду узнать как и что у вас
Ваша Таня Глебовна
Таня Глебовна, 02.08.2012

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Милейшая Татьяна Глебовна,

Очень рад что Ваши труды и заботы достойно оценены. Во многом Вы опережали время, но это мало кто понимает.
Для меня Вы классик и я очень рад что мне повезло видеть Вас и говорить с Вами "вживую". Продолжаю завидовать Вашей энергии (К=25) и настойчивости. Будьте здоровы!
Если желаете - сообщите адрес, пришлю некоторые отгадки на загадки 1970х годов. АГ
Александр Гусев, 19.07.2012

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Дорогая Татьяна Глебовна!

От всей нашей семьи поздравляю Вас с наградой!
Кажется невероятным то, что Вы и Виталий ... (поймала себя на том , что никогда не называла дядю Виталия по отчеству) сумели добиться такого признания в США всего за каких!то коротких 11 лет, попав туда отнюдь не в молодом возрасте). Преклоняюсь...
Большой привет от мамы
Дочка Иры Симбиревой из Ванкувера
Ольга Симбирева, 15.11.2011

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Дорогая Татьяна Глебовна! От всей души и искренне поздравляю вас с заслуженной наградой!! Вы дейсвительно корифей СОВЕТСКОЙ, РОССИЙСКОЙ и МИРОВОЙ сейсмологической науки. Вы одной из первых стояли у ее истоках и вы "живая" её легенда и история. Очень приятно что мировая общественная сейсмологическая наука наконец-то по достоинству оценила ваш огромный вклад в сейсмологию. Я желаю вам здоровья вам и всего самого доброго! Прошу прощения за столь позднее поздравление. очень редко посещаю интернет - большая загруженность работой..
Андрей Нестеренко, 28.10.2011

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Дорогая Таьяна Глебовна!

Простите, что очень поздно, но от всей души поздравляюю Вас с достойной наградой. Жаль, что в Росии не нашли возможность представить Вас к достойной награде. Но Вас знает вся сейсмологическая наука. Вы уже завоевали почетное звание корифея сейсмологической науки в сердцах известных ученых, ваших последователей и учеников. Мы всегда помним Ваши ценейшие советы и назидания. Они стали локомотивом наших дальнейших достижений в разных областях деятельности. Мы всегда Вас помним и почитаем. Еще раз прошу прошения, что долгое время не появлялся в эфире. Думаю исправлюсь
Алишо, 27.08.2011

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