Italian Scientists on Trial for Manslaughter in Wake of 2009 Quake

Aug 2010
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Filed under "WTF!":

Italian Scientists on Trial for Manslaughter in Wake of 2009 Quake | Europe | English
A group of Italian earthquake experts went on trial Tuesday accused of manslaughter for allegedly not properly warning the public before an earthquake struck. The 2009 quake killed more than 300 people in the central Italian city of L'Aquila.

The seven defendants, which include scientists and government officials, are accused of giving incomplete and contradictory information to residents of the area about tremors felt before the April 2009 quake.

Prosecutors say residents should have been warned to leave their homes before the quake hit. Much of the town was reduced to rubble.

The defendants are drawing support from seismologists around the world who say it is impossible to predict earthquakes. Last year, more than 5,000 international researchers signed a petition supporting their Italian colleagues and warning that the risk of litigation could discourage scientists and officials from issuing opinions.
 
Apr 2011
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Next they will be prosecuting weather forecasters for not acurately predicting where a tornado will hit.
 
Aug 2010
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Next they will be prosecuting weather forecasters for not acurately predicting where a tornado will hit.
Exactly. As the article mentions, if this is allowed to go forth and results in a sentence against the scientists, then it will result in the scientists not issuing anything at all for fear of being convicted for being wrong.
 
Jun 2011
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Well, the Italian prosecutor's case certainly has merit. All he has to do is prove to the jury that earthquake prediction is an exact science with a history of successful warnings that have saved lives.

Of course, not one earthquake has ever been succcessfully predicted, except for California's "Big One", which hasn't happened yet, but if anything has ever been predicted that's the one.