Oct 29, 2012
On October 22nd, an Italian court sentenced seven scientists to six years in prison for not predicting the April 6, 2009 earthquake, which destroyed L’Aquila and many villages around it, causing 309 deaths.
It’s really an outrage. The scientists had said before the earthquake that no one can predict when and where an earthquake will hit with precision.
But they also said that L’Aquila lay in a dangerous zone where there would be a severe earthquake sooner or later. So buildings should be constructed with this problem in mind.
When the 2009 earthquake hit, the poor quality of a number of modern buildings caused them to collapse on their occupants. These new buildings had been built ignoring anti-earthquake norms, sometimes ignoring the most basic rules of safety, shown in a student dormitory and a hospital.
Blaming the scientists is a way to hide those truly responsible for the deaths and damage: the builders and politicians. It has nothing to do with reality – or science.