Seismologists Tried for Manslaughter for Not Predicting Earthquake

  • Thread starter Evo
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  • #26
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I read about this on another forum. I have to say you have to be really dumb to think that seismology is so precise you can just predict and Earthquake to the day or even the month. Good God, did the age of reason even happen in Italy? :smile:

The irony is not wasted on me given the Renaissance.
 
  • #27
Evo
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Apparently what I am getting out of this is that one guy happened to predict an earthquake using one piece of evidence. He was wrong and had people listened to him the devastation would have been worse, however these 7 scientists held a press conference saying there was no danger. Then a week later the earthquake hits.
The scientists deny saying anything like that and the actual meeting notes prove they didn't.

However, in the minutes of the meeting, the scientists do not say that there was "no danger," though they say that a swarm of mini-quakes is no certain indicator that a major one is on the way. Additionally, “the idea that minor earthquakes release energy and thus make things better is a common misperception," Susan Hough, a geophysicist at the USGS, comments (via Nature News). "But seismologists know it’s not true. I doubt any scientist could have said that.” The scientists have since said the statement misrepresented their opinions.
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/27/scitech/main20066827.shtml#ixzz1O3E0S1Fa
 
  • #28
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The scientists deny saying anything like that and the actual meeting notes prove they didn't.
I stand corrected. In that case this moves from "stupid but I understand where it comes from" back to just plain stupid
 
  • #30
Evo
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To make this trial even stupider, here is what the group demanding the charges has to say.

The trial begins on September 20. If convicted, the scientists and De Bernardinis could serve up to 12 years in prison.

The president of a L'Aquila association of the earthquake's victims hopes that the trial will lead to a more thorough investigation of what happened, particularly with regard to information the committee may have had about which buildings were more likely to crumble. “Nobody here wants to put science in the dock,” he says (via Nature News). “We all know that the earthquake could not be predicted, and that evacuation was not an option. All we wanted was clearer information on risks in order to make our choices.”
Uhm, you're in a dangerous area known for earthquakes, make your choice. It's not like 2-3 days would give you time to rebuild to stricter codes, eh?
 
  • #31
Fresco
This is beyond absurd
I'll say.

I thought it was an April fool's joke when I opened the thread
 
  • #32
Astronuc
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. . . particularly with regard to information the committee may have had about which buildings were more likely to crumble.
Well, unless they are structural engineers, they are not responsible for the buildings, or the building codes, or the crappy construction. All the seismologist can say, is that we've had earthquakes, and we will have more. They cannot predict future earthquakes with high levels of certainty.
 
  • #33
Evo
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They want someone to blame so that they won't feel guilty about their decisions. But this is outrageous. Good point about the seismologists not being engineers.
 
  • #34
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Well, unless they are structural engineers, they are not responsible for the buildings, or the building codes, or the crappy construction. All the seismologist can say, is that we've had earthquakes, and we will have more. They cannot predict future earthquakes with high levels of certainty.
Excellent point,

When China had earthquake they went after structural engineers .. here, I wonder if all this trail is an idea coming from structural engineers :biggrin:
 
  • #35
Averagesupernova
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All the seismologist can say, is that we've had earthquakes, and we will have more.
Of course I realize in the context the above quote is correct but it makes it sound like a third grade dropout could be a seismologist. Haha. Best laugh I've had on here for a while.
 
  • #36
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Of course I realize in the context the above quote is correct but it makes it sound like a third grade dropout could be a seismologist. Haha. Best laugh I've had on here for a while.
I think their role is very important for long term policies but I don't understand why the heck they were doing meeting minutes and what is the purpose of those.
 
  • #37
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The minutes of a meeting are like notes of what was discussed during the meeting--if that is the context in which it was used.
 

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