Perhaps a recent development in seismology that has received the most attention was the six-year jail sentence handed down to six scientists and a former government official. In 2009, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the town of L'Aquila in Italy and killed 309 people; the scientists and official, part of a National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, were accused of manslaughter for failing to predict the earthquake. The court's decision is based on the idea the statements put out by the commission were misleading in that they falsely provided a sense of security before the disaster--at one point, a statement was put out saying there was no danger. However, the scientific community has protested the court's decision because they feel it is, at least partly, an attack on science. Earthquake prediction is extremely difficult and there are zero tried and true methods of figuring out when the next significant quake is going to hit.
Do you agree with the court's decision? Or do you think that in these types of cases, regardless of the number of people dead, there are no grounds for scientists to be convicted?
-----The Golden Eagle