An Italian court has convicted seven scientists and experts of manslaughter for failing to adequately warn residents when an earthquake struck central Italy in 2009 killing more than 300 people. Each of the scientists and experts were sentenced to six years in prison.
This finding of guilt for failing to predict an earthquake is not only a scientific travesty but a legal travesty as well. How anyone can predict an earthquake in an area that is regularly subject to seismic activity is beyond any rational explanation. This conviction borders on astrology being recognized as a legitimate science and hopefully the matter will be appealed to a court where some understanding of the science of geology is applied and the convictions set aside.
It is imperative that the world’s community of geological scientists express their concern about this decision in no uncertain terms to the Italian government.