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Italian scientists convicted for failure to predict 2009 earthquake


borntorum

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May 26, 2008
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12,805
This sounds like a bizarre story:

An Italian court has convicted six scientists and a government official of manslaughter for failing to give adequate warning of a deadly earthquake in 2009.
The earthquake destroyed the central city of L'Aquila and killed more than 300 people.
The seven were sentenced to six years in prison.
They were accused of negligence and malpractice in their evaluation of the danger of an earthquake and their duty to keep the city informed of the risks.
Obviously to give a definitive opinion on the case one would have to know what exactly comprised the negligence that the scientists were convicted of, but it seems outrageous to convict anyone for a natural disaster. Unsurprisingly the scientists are appealing.

Italian scientists convicted over 2009 earthquake failure - RT News
 

Half Nelson

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Now that's what I call 'accountability'.

I wonder if the Italians have a Financial Regulator?
 

Nemesiscorporation

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This sounds like a bizarre story:



Obviously to give a definitive opinion on the case one would have to know what exactly comprised the negligence that the scientists were convicted of, but it seems outrageous to convict anyone for a natural disaster. Unsurprisingly the scientists are appealing.

Italian scientists convicted over 2009 earthquake failure - RT News
The judgement against the scientists today was a triumph of primativism and irrationality over logic and reason.

I hope the scientists win there appeal.
 

OCicero

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That will play hell with the points for Seismology.
 

Analyzer

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Dan McLaughlin and Austin Hughes, I hope that you are reading this thread !!!!
 

borntorum

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The judgement against the scientists today was a triumph of primativism and irrationality over logic and reason.

I hope the scientists win there appeal.
Yes there's something medieval about the judgment. It doesn't feel that far from convicting them of witchcraft
 

artfoley56

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The judgement against the scientists today was a triumph of primativism and irrationality over logic and reason.

I hope the scientists win there appeal.
the court of cassation has a good record of overturning convictions but mostly for real criminals, hopefully it works for the little guy as well as andreotti et al
 

borntorum

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the court of cassation has a good record of overturning convictions but mostly for real criminals, hopefully it works for the little guy as well as andreotti et al
Yeah, if the scientists had connections to Cosa Nostra they'd probably be fine...;)
 
D

Dylan2010

wait until all the climate change guys are rounded up, between them and the "economists" the gallows will be busy
 

dresden8

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There's going to be a lot of earthquake warnings issued in Italy over the next while. They'll have to evacuate the whole freaking country.
 

Analyzer

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Anybody find out the bureacrats who signed off on Priory Hall ?

I reckon they also missed a similar serious problem !!!!

Can they be made liable ?

Or are they covered by both the Croke Park Deal and brown envelope/holidays/free booze ups ?
 

renewal

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I thought it was good they were found guilty. They said officially, on television even, it was safe and there was nothing to worry about wrt any earthquake. 309 are now dead i.e. not coming back. We joke and grumble about Priory Hall, Irish bank directors driving the banks into the ground and getting large pension, etc. Both sides are happy - we joke sarcastically and the other side keeps all their cash. In Italy hundreds of people died because they were officially told it was safe when it clearly wasn't. Unbelievably the relevant experts were actually held accountable for earlier pronouncements. Let's have more of the same please.
 

Bill

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You're next Michael Fish.
 

ibis

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OK - now I, like anyone with a scientific (geology, even!) background who heard this story, was originally going "WTF this is outrageous".

However...what's going on here is not really what is being popularly represented as happening. The people convicted consist of several seismologists and another civil servant, who all work for a body tasked with delivering appropriate safety warnings to the public.

In this case, the seismologists regarded the situation as risky, but passed over the job of communicating that riskiness to the other civil servant, who delivered a quite different message, that everything was in fact OK, and the "scientific community" had said there was no risk.

On foot of that message, people stayed who otherwise would have left, and some of them were killed or injured.

The point here is that the scientists knew that what was being communicated was not what they had said, and they did nothing about it. And people died.

Now, I'd usually be amongst the first to defend scientists against the kind of anti-science agendas that are often pushed through courts and legislative chambers, but this is not, as far as I can see, such a case, or an anti-science result.

If anything, this is a good result for science in the public sphere, because it may remind scientists to speak up when some administrator or politician is misrepresenting their findings in public. Scientists too seldom speak up when that happens, and this may be the kick in the pants some of them need, and a reminder that they are responsible if their work is misused or misrepresented in the public sphere.
 

Just Jack

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Good.

Scientists think they know it all.

They don’t.

Only God has the answers.
 

Trainwreck

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Careful on the reporting of this. It turned on the surety of reassurances that these people gave. In response to concerns by the populous who were in fear and fleeing their homes following tremors they announced that there was no threat of an earthquake and deliberately states they were certain of their prediction.

They did not provide the full information about the true uncertainties ablround their claims that there was no danger.

I see them as no different to those experts in this country who told us they were certain there was no threat of a property or general economic crash. How many people in this country would like to see those people prosecuted and they weren't directly responsible for deaths.
 
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OK - now I, like anyone with a scientific (geology, even!) background who heard this story, was originally going "WTF this is outrageous".

However...what's going on here is not really what is being popularly represented as happening. The people convicted consist of several seismologists and another civil servant, who all work for a body tasked with delivering appropriate safety warnings to the public.

In this case, the seismologists regarded the situation as risky, but passed over the job of communicating that riskiness to the other civil servant, who delivered a quite different message, that everything was in fact OK, and the "scientific community" had said there was no risk.

On foot of that message, people stayed who otherwise would have left, and some of them were killed or injured.

The point here is that the scientists knew that what was being communicated was not what they had said, and they did nothing about it. And people died.

Now, I'd usually be amongst the first to defend scientists against the kind of anti-science agendas that are often pushed through courts and legislative chambers, but this is not, as far as I can see, such a case, or an anti-science result.

If anything, this is a good result for science in the public sphere, because it may remind scientists to speak up when some administrator or politician is misrepresenting their findings in public. Scientists too seldom speak up when that happens, and this may be the kick in the pants some of them need, and a reminder that they are responsible if their work is misused or misrepresented in the public sphere.
It has to be added that in Italian law any unusual death is investigated with the specific view of nailing down a culprit. That was evident in the death of Ayrton Senna, where in almost any other country "misadventure" or "accidental death" would hae been recorded. His was considered "manslaughter" and lengthy investigation blamed manufacturing failure and negligence. His then team head was cited as the culprit, but it was by then too late to charge him.
 

jpc

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Jun 14, 2007
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4,339
Now that's what I call 'accountability'.

I wonder if the Italians have a Financial Regulator?
Well they have a great sense of humour.
Bunga Berlesconi gets a year for destroying the country financially.
 
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