Robert J. Geller

Seismologist, Educator, Commentator

Geller is widely recognized as one of the world's leading seismologists. He has published over 100 highly cited papers in journals including Nature, Science, and top specialty journals. A list of his scientific publications on the Google Scholar site is here.


He is also a highly popular lecturer; since the 2011 Tohoku earthquake he has spoken throughout Japan under the title "地震学の現状と限界~想定外を想定しよう" ("Seismological Knowledge and its Limitations: Expect the Unexpected"). To invite him to give a lecture use the contact form on this website.


Geller also has written two popular books in Japanese and many popular articles in both English and Japanese. His most recent book is "ゲラーさん、ニッポンに物申す" ("Hey Japan, Mr. Geller has a few things to say to you"). He has appeared on TV often, especially on the popular talk-debate program "そこまで言って委員会NP" (Soko made itte iinkai NP) produced by Yomiuri TV in Osaka. However, because his views on earthquake prediction and forecasting disagree with the official position of the Japanese government, he has been ignored by the quasi-government broadcaster NHK since 1994.


For further information on Geller's views on earthquake prediction and forecasting see the following: 

  (1) Video of Geller's last lecture (最終講義) at the University of Tokyo in 2017 (in Japanese)

  (2) Video of a talk by Geller in 2019 at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan: "The 'Imminent' Nankai Trough Mega Quake: Myth or Reality?"  (in English, with translation to Japanese); the slides for this lecture may be viewed here.

  (3) Geller's interview by the Caltech Heritage Project in 2022 (in English).


Geller was born in New York City in 1952. He received his education at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech; BS 1973, MS, 1975; PhD, 1977). After one year as a Research Fellow at Caltech, and six years as Assistant Professor at Stanford University, he was appointed Associate Professor of Geophysics by the University of Tokyo in 1984, thereby becoming the first tenured foreign faculty member in the University's history. He was promoted to full professor in 1999, and after his retirement in March 2017 was named Professor Emeritus. He was honored by being named a Fellow of the Japan Geoscience Union in 2017. Geller became a citizen of Japan in 2022.

Earthquakes cannot be predicted.