After a 6.3 magnitude quake hit L'aquila, killing more than 300 people, Italian officials arrested six scientists and one former government official, saying they were falsely reassuring about the chances of the quake. Now they've just been sentenced to six years in prison.
Ever since the charges of spreading "inexact, incomplete and contradictory"information have been levied, the scientific community has been eyeing this case closely. They've argued a conviction would set a dangerous precedent for scientists in the field--there's not even a way to predict major quakes, they said, along with the scientists' defense. In protest, a petition was signed by more than 5,000 scientists.
They were concerned then--and likely are even more-so now--about a "chilling effect" that could be started by a conviction: If this is the end result of working in the field, then who is going to want to be there, much less share their results?
There's no word yet on if the defense will file an appeal.
And here come the lynching of the "Weather forecasters". oi.
The forcast will just to say, "We have weather today, you might die, be careful. If you die, it not my fault, so be careful.", "Oh, and other enviromental things could happen too".
I'm honestly horrified by this. There is NO way (currently) to accurately predict an earthquake.
Good thing I never became a seismologist.
This is so worrying, on so many levels.
Exactly how reassuring were these men? Were they going on national television every day proclaiming there is absolutely no danger of an earthquake ever taking place? Were they telling building inspectors and code writes to not worry about it, because who cares if the building isn't earthquake safe, they don't happen. Were they telling emergency personnel that there is no need to do any kind of earthquake readiness training, you know.. because earthquakes don't exist.
I mean WTF... If we can be legally responsible for the deaths of people because our warnings aren't "Dire" enough then there are a LOT of people on this planet who need jail time.
What do you expect from the people that brought us "The Church".
These people have a history of killing scientists and just about anyone with half a brain. These scientists are the luckiest witch hunt victims ever.
There truly is no limit to human stupidity.
Now we really really know how Amanda Knox was convicted.
This is the country that embraced Mussolini.
What a basketcase!!!
Very dangerous precedent indeed. Remember the Challenger disaster? The scientists were 'overly cautious' so they went ahead with the mission despite warnings, and...boom. Remember Katrina? Engineers warned for years that the levies were insufficient and sitting ducks for a decently powerful storm...oops. So negligence in those situations was excusable, but not adequately shouting from the mountaintops about an impending earthquake - an earthquake which was just as likely to hit in a century as this past year - is punishable by prison sentences.
So here's what happens: you further discourage students from going into science, which incidentally will postpone any advances in predicting earthquakes and negate the supposed intent of this whole fiasco, saving lives. You will also have every seismologist crying wolf about the slightest chance of the slightest tremor until no one gives a second thought to the warnings, and then an honest emergency alert will be ignored.
Seriously, seriously misguided. Guess Italian cartographers better start praying they don't get pulled into the Costa Concordia investigation, too.
Seriously? So when I get struck by lightning, will the weather guy go to jail for not warning me?
they're just pi**ed about their building ;)
-What we think we become-
USGS scientists risk a lynching mob due to their continuous lies about the risks on the San Andreas when it finally shifts to the tune of 9.0+.
Don't think so?
It is clear now what must be done. Scientists all over the world must unite to form SPECTRE and work together to build a "Death Ray" which will be used to mercilessly vaporize evil regimes and concentrated populations of fools that could jeopardize Earth's future.
New Scientist published an article on the amounts of cocaine and other 'stuff' detectable in the atmosphere in Italian cities. Looks like the judges have been taking too many deep breaths.
Kiwiiano... I'm right 98% of the time, so who cares about the other 3%?
You are right. It is clear. We must act. Who has a white Persian cat?
Mr.Wint: If at first you don't succeed Mr. Kidd...?
Mr.Kidd: Try, try again, Mr. Wint.
Science in that particular corner of the world will take a dive as now many sciences major families are planning their exit strategy from the part of the world.
Remember these are educated people and they do not need an Earth quake to know when to get out, they know how to read the writing on the wall!
Hello there science major and science families, the USA immigration is looking for you! You are welcome!
Well just maybe it were those scientist who were high on cocaine and italian wine, when they made their analysis. It says in the article:
<i>"Many smaller tremors had rattled the area in the months before the quake that destroyed much of the historic centre."</i>
If you than go out telling people that it's all safe, and don't have to worry and suddenly a 6.3 magnitude quake ruins the city and kills 309 people, than you aren't a scientist but an idiot.
btw it says on the wiki page:
<i>The city was struck by earthquakes in 1315, 1349, 1452, 1501, 1646, 1703, and 1706. The earthquake of February 1703, which caused devastation across much of central Italy, largely destroyed the city and killed around 5,000 people.</i>
Those scientists were dumbasses.
... oh and check this out on that Wiki-page:
<i>Italian laboratory technician Giampaolo Giuliani predicted a major earthquake on Italian television a month before, after measuring increased levels of radon emitted from the ground. He was accused of being alarmist by the Director of the Civil Defence, Guido Bertolaso, and forced to remove his findings from the Internet (old data and descriptions are still on line).</i>
It's times like this that I'm thoroughly embarrased by my Italian heritage. What kind of jackwagon has the stones to think this stuff up?
No small wonder that what's-her-name in college was able to beat their system.
Scary but not surprising. To keep people tame, to make them believe not in themselves but an overarching collective, you have to make the state their God. All powerful, if something happens out of control of the state, make a scapegoat, it was all their fault, this won't happen again they've learned their lesson, go back to slipping into the darkness of slavery, your safe now.
I'm making $86 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbour told me she was averaging $95 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I'm my own boss. This is what I do, Red97.com
When are we going to declare Italy a Third World country?
These seismologists should begin predicting earthquakes from behind bars, and state that they will only stop their predictions if they are freed.
The fear of having them predict earthquakes should be enough to blackmail their judicial system into giving them freedom, right? Because their predictions are so dangerous?
Even if you're able to correctly predict quakes, the damage varies according to the quality of the infrastructure, population density, and a crapton of other factors. There was a 6+ earthquake in Bulgaria at the same time and there were no fatalities. You have to be a prophet to know if it will be a disaster or not. Oh, these people are so stupid...
I feel sorry for the smarter people in Italy. They must feel so ashamed.
It is quite possible the world will end in 2012 because someone will do something so incredibly dumb it will trigger a chain reaction and cause all of existence to be unmade.
Mother nature ya never know what time of the month it is for her. I wonder how Japanese seismologists find rest from her. 3 massive plates converging together at that island playing smash up derby. Building engineers must have the big shoulders to keep that countrys infrastructure standing,they have some of the most innovative minds in the world right now. Even so,it took the march 2011 mother of all quakes and a tsunami to humble them. If I recall there nuke power plant was written off and Atomic engineers were called in from around the world to shut down and prevent a China syndrome reaction. Yup,mother natures a bitch.
The scientits are not condemned because they didn't predict the earthquake but because they followed the directions from the chief of the civil protection service, Guido Bertolaso. Guido Bertolaso planned a meeting where the scientits must reassure the population in a "media event" with news, television etc. So they didn't followed the "science" but the orders from Bertolaso. Even in the italian news there are a lot of confusion, mainly because there are some political parties that want to delegitimize the judges.
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Just out of curiosity, has anyone heard if the latest hoaxers of fusion technology out of Italy have been imprisoned? How about the Faster Than Light hoaxers? Any of them in prison? I haven't read anything indicating that any of those people who were actually defrauding The State had any consequences at all for their crimes; but the seismologists that have a job that is still an infant science will be held responsible for the lack of preparation of the nation's populace in a high event zone. Chekk. Real regular there, Italy. Insanity of government personnel is the newest worldwide pandemic. You're not alone in that, Italia. We feel your pain and know it well.
So, if those scientists want to be freed from unlawful incarceration, they should probably say that they were in fact CORRECT; but that God moves in mysterious ways.