2011-06-03 07:57:47At least some folks still have faith in science ...
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.42.122

Italian Seismologists Face Manslaughter Charges For Failure To Predict Quake

Reut Cohen | May 27, 2011
Senior Editor
The president of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Enzo Boschi, faces trial along with six other scientists and technicians for failure to predict the disaster. (Photo by jacopo18041968, Creative Commons)
The president of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Enzo Boschi, faces trial along with six other scientists and technicians for failure to predict the disaster. (Photo by jacopo18041968, Creative Commons)
Top Italian seismologists are being tried for the manslaughter of 308 people who died in the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake. The president of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Enzo Boschi, faces trial along with six other scientists and technicians for failure to predict the disaster.

Italian Judge Giuseppe Romano Gargarella reportedly said the seven scientists offered "imprecise, incomplete and contradictory information" during a televised press conference just 6 days before the earthquake struck, according to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. During the conference, scientists reassured residents that there was no evidence a major earthquake was imminent. The area had experienced smaller quakes prior to the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) website, no earthquake has ever been predicted successfully.

The USGS says scientists can only calculate the probability of a potential quake, but do not expect to predict them for the "foreseeable future."

Alan Leschner, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, told Fox News that his organization wrote a letter to Italy’s government last year when the scientists were first placed under investigation. 

Speaking to Fox News, Leschner said the charges against the seismologists could have a "chilling effect" on scientists.

"Whoever made these accusations misunderstands the nature of science, the nature of the discipline and how difficult it is to predict anything with the surety they expect," said Leschner.

The trial is expected to begin Sept. 20, 2011, according to Science Insider.

2011-06-03 08:27:57
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.97

A few more details here.

The problem is not that they should have predicted the quake but what has been been said at that infamous conference. The report above is incorrect when it says that "scientists reassured residents"; it was the spokeperson of the committee, not a scientist. The reassuring statement does not come from the scientists in the committee.

2011-06-03 10:16:33
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.98.160

Thought this was a pisstake at first Neal. Talk about ludicrous.   

2011-06-03 10:44:54
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.42.122

I have a dry sense of humor.