Predict An Earthquake Or Go To Jail: L'Aquila Earthquake Trial Verdict - Guilty
    By Hank Campbell | October 22nd 2012 12:04 PM | 1 comment | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    In a closely watched trial, prosecutors who argued that a group of Italian scientists is accountable for not adequately warning residents about the risks of an earthquake in the town of L'Aquila have succeeded. 

    The Italian scientific community has naturally been concerned; how can you penalize people for not doing the impossible? Nevertheless, legal minds have found that the seven scientists charged with manslaughter for failing to predict an earthquake and alerting residents to evacuate their homes are to blame. The court in L'Aquila Monday evening handed down six-year-prison sentences to the defendants, members of a national "Great Risks Commission."

    The L'Aquila 2009 earthquake killed 309 people, left 1,500 injured and 65,000 homeless. The city is a major fault line and large numbers of small tremors -- "swarms" -- are common in the area. 

    Can you predict an earthquake?  Unless you are absolutely certain, avoid geology in Italy.

    L'Aquila quake: Italy scientists guilty of manslaughter, BBC


    Stuart Clark at The Guardian found a way to make this L'Aquila story about Galileo.  Of course.  Because the similarities are so obvious.  First, there is:


    Okay, maybe there is...


    Italy!  Yes, wasn't that Galileo stuff in Italy, with the evil church imprisoning him for being all science-y and atheist or whatever?  No, not really, though he got the Italy thing right, but Clark wrote a book about the church imprisoning Galileo for being all science-y and atheist or whatever so he has to find an 'eerie resonance' in modern events.  

    What do they have in common?  The country was run by anti-science social authoritarians then just like it is now, but the difference is now the anti-science social authoritarians are on the left.