Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Italy may prosecute quake scientists

An Italian prosecutor is going after seven seismologists and technicians who were unsure about whether last year's deadly L'Aquila earthquake would happen and offered their best guess that a major quake was not imminent. The charge: manslaughter, for failing to issue a warning and causing 308 deaths.
COMMENT: This is insane. It's terrifying to seismologists and other scientists (think meteorologists) who could potentially be held liable any time they get things wrong. Earthquake prediction is a very uncertain and immature field. If this actually goes through, who will ever try to advance this important frontier of science? Who will make anything but worst-case predictions on hurricanes, climate change, and so many other things?

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