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Introduction / Dominique Lecourt -- I. The seismic risk: J'accuse. Experts. Science and government -- II. What is an earthquake? The structure of the planet. Plate tectonics. Obstacles to earthquakes. Magnitude and intensity -- III. Predicting earthquakes. Solid skepticism. The VAN method. Other approaches -- IV. Protecting ourselves against earthquakes. Earthquake-resistant construction. Educating the public. Organizing relief work after a major earthquake. The role of the military. The role of government. Back to prediction. Scientific controversy and dishonesty.