Italian court convicts scientists !

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PaulSacramento
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Italian court convicts scientists !

#1

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:06 pm

http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/19882019/i ... ke-warning

L'AQUILA, Italy -

An Italian court convicted seven scientists and experts of manslaughter on Monday for failing to adequately warn citizens before an earthquake struck central Italy in 2009, killing more than 300 people.

The court in L'Aquila also sentenced the defendants to six years in prison. Each one is a member of the national Great Risks Commission.

In Italy, convictions aren't definitive until after at least one level of appeals, so it is unlikely any of the defendants would face jail immediately.

Scientists worldwide had decried the trial as ridiculous, contending that science has no reliable way of predicting earthquakes.

Among those convicted were some of Italy's most prominent and internationally respected seismologists and geological experts, including Enzo Boschi, former head of the national Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.

`'I am dejected, desperate," Boschi said after the verdict. `'I thought I would have been acquitted. I still don't understand what I was convicted of."

The trial began in September 2011 in this Apennine town, whose devastated historic center is still largely a ghost town.

The defendants were accused in the indictment of giving `'inexact, incomplete and contradictory information" about whether small tremors felt by L'Aquila residents in the weeks and months before the April 6, 2009, quake should have constituted grounds for a quake warning.

The 6.3-magnitude quake killed 308 people in and around the medieval town and forced survivors to live in tent camps for months.

Many much smaller earth tremors had rattled the area in the months before the quake, causing frightened people to wonder if they should evacuate.

`'I consider myself innocent before God and men," said another convicted defendant, Bernardo De Bernardinis, a former official of the national Civil Protection agency.

Prosecutors had sought conviction and four-year sentences during the non-jury trial, which was led by a judge.

A defense lawyer, Filippo Dinacci, told reporters that the sentence would have `'big repercussions" on public administration since officials would be afraid to `'do anything."

Read more: http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/19882019/i ... z2A3nlZwtg

PaulSacramento
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Re: Italian court convicts scientists !

#2

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:07 pm

As one blogger (Vox Day) put it:

It's both fascinating and informative, isn't it. Scientists are absolutely certain that the science is settled and they are more than willing to declare what laws should be passed, what classes should be taught, and what massive economic interventions and intrusions on individual freedom should be suffered due to the absolute reliability of their scientific knowledge.

But hold them personally responsible for their predictions and declarations? Well, that's an outrage! Science isn't actually expected to be reliable, after all! I look forward to seeing climate scientists being similarly prosecuted one day for the complete failure of their predictive models. The evolutionary biologists should be safe, unfortunately, since they don't even have any predictive models.

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Re: Italian court convicts scientists !

#3

Post by RickD » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:39 pm

Vox Day wrote:
It's both fascinating and informative, isn't it. Scientists are absolutely certain that the science is settled and they are more than willing to declare what laws should be passed, what classes should be taught, and what massive economic interventions and intrusions on individual freedom should be suffered due to the absolute reliability of their scientific knowledge.
Talk about generalizations. Sheesh! I'll go out on a limb and say that all scientists aren't that arrogant.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

PaulSacramento
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Re: Italian court convicts scientists !

#4

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:30 am

And it continues:
The indictments have drawn global condemnation. The American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), both in Washington DC, issued statements in support of the Italian defendants. In an open letter to Napolitano, for example, the AAAS said it was "unfair and naive" of local prosecutors to charge the men for failing "to alert the population of L'Aquila of an impending earthquake". And last May, when Italian magistrate Giuseppe Gargarella ruled at a preliminary hearing that the scientists would have to stand trial this September, the Italian blogosphere lit up with lamentation and defence lawyers greeted the decision with disbelief....

The view from L'Aquila, however, is quite different. Prosecutors and the families of victims alike say that the trial has nothing to do with the ability to predict earthquakes, and everything to do with the failure of government-appointed scientists serving on an advisory panel to adequately evaluate, and then communicate, the potential risk to the local population. The charges, detailed in a 224-page document filed by Picuti, allege that members of the National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks, who held a special meeting in L'Aquila the week before the earthquake, provided "incomplete, imprecise, and contradictory information" to a public that had been unnerved by months of persistent, low-level tremors. Picuti says that the commission was more interested in pacifying the local population than in giving clear advice about earthquake preparedness.

"I'm not crazy," Picuti says. "I know they can't predict earthquakes. The basis of the charges is not that they didn't predict the earthquake. As functionaries of the state, they had certain duties imposed by law: to evaluate and characterize the risks that were present in L'Aquila." Part of that risk assessment, he says, should have included the density of the urban population and the known fragility of many ancient buildings in the city centre. "They were obligated to evaluate the degree of risk given all these factors," he says, "and they did not."

"This isn't a trial against science," insists Vittorini, who is a civil party to the suit. But he says that a persistent message from authorities of "Be calm, don't worry", and a lack of specific advice, deprived him and others of an opportunity to make an informed decision about what to do on the night of the earthquake. "That's why I feel betrayed by science," he says. "Either they didn't know certain things, which is a problem, or they didn't know how to communicate what they did know, which is also a problem."
And the issue is this:
The population trusted the authority of the scientists against their own better judgment.
And we we all been there, when someone with "authority" downplays our own experiences based on their science.

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Re: Italian court convicts scientists !

#5

Post by Beanybag » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:43 pm

Did they trust the scientists? Did the scientists mislead them? Article by nature: http://www.nature.com/news/shock-and-law-1.11643

"As members of an official risk commission, they had all participated in a meeting held in L’Aquila on 31 March 2009, during which they were asked to assess the risk of a major earthquake in view of the many tremors that had hit the city in the previous months, and responded by saying that the earthquake risk was clearly raised but that it was not possible to offer a detailed prediction. The meeting was unusually quick, and was followed by a press conference at which the Civil Protection Department and local authorities reassured the population, stating that minor shocks did not increase the risk of a major one."

Perhaps the officials, who did not listen to the scientists, are to blame.

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