An Italian court has convicted seven earthquake scientists of manslaughter for their failure to properly warn the public prior to the L’Aquila earthquake.
The court also sentenced the men to six years in prison, which is two years more than the prosecutor recommended.
The more I have read about this case, the less I have been in sympathy with the scientists. While it is absurd to expect any scientist to be able to precise predict the occurrence of an earthquake, in this case some of the individuals convicted had issued statements that actually go against basic earthquake science in order to give the public a false sense of safety. They claimed that the increased level of seismic activity suggested a reduction in the risk of an earthquake, when all research actually indicates the exact opposite.
Some additional details here.
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