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Scientists tried on manslaughter charges for providing incorrect predictions | USA Today

ROME (AP) – Seven scientists and other experts have gone on trial on manslaughter charges for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating 2009 earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy.

The case is being closely watched by seismologists around the globe who insist it's impossible to predict earthquakes and dangerous to suggest otherwise, since seismologists will be discouraged from issuing any advice at all if they fear legal retaliation.

Last year, about 5,200 international researchers signed a petition supporting their Italian colleagues. The Seismological Society of America wrote to Italy's president expressing concern about what it called an unprecedented legal attack on science.

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

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Comment by Antonio Marcos Moraes Ribeiro on March 21, 2015 at 10:39pm

What to expect from a corrupt country badly governed, 5th category, which is a laughing stock and scorn in Europe? Despite being one of the cradles of Western civilization, with huge contributions to science just as we know it today !!! It is very sad, because this country could better treat science ... Da Vinci must be turning in his grave !!!

Comment by Thomas Lincoln on February 26, 2015 at 5:42am


The SEC is using Chicago old style politics, from which the ultimate leader has learned his trade.

Comment by Vincent Granville on September 22, 2011 at 2:19pm

Ironically, some hedge fund managers here in US are being sued by the SEC for making the correct prediction about the S&P downgrade of US, and using their prediction to short US stocks: a prediction that almost anybody who reads the news could have made.

In other words, is developing and using statistical models for the stock market now illegal, unless your model predictions are approved by the SEC?

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