Ian Main is Professor of Seismology and Rock Physics in the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. He obtained a Ph.D. in seismology at Edinburgh, and subsequently worked at Reading University before returning. His research interests are centered on the processes that lead up to catastrophic failure events, from earthquakes, rock fracture, and volcanic eruptions, to failure of building materials and bridges, and in quantifying the resulting hazard. He moderated the Nature website debate on earthquake prediction in 1999, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2009. For more information see http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/imain.