Italian earthquake verdict shakes scientific community, readers
There was a fiery reaction from our readers. Here's a sample of what we saw.
- Galileo was put on trial for claiming the Earth 'moved' around the Sun. After a few centuries of thinking it over, the 'infallible' popes just figured out recently that Galileo was right. Giordano Bruno was burned alive for claiming other worlds existed other than the Earth. Italy is no place to be a scientist. Just too dangerous.
- People are always happier when they can blame others for their misfortune no matter how illogical the argument is. Seismologists in Italy should refuse to work for the government unless these men are vindicated and all scientists in the future are given immunity form this sort of persecution. I suppose its not surprising that the same country that persecuted Galileo hasn't learned from their own history.
- I have a PhD in geophysics and have worked in seismology for over 30 years and have yet to see a reliable means of predicting earthquakes. One can only assume that the same Italian "justice" system that convicted these guys is the same system that allowed the Mafia to flourish. In other words, the system is broken and apparently populated by morons.
- The government authorities fail to do enough to both prepare for the crisis and respond after the quake, and scientists are blamed as the culprits of the disaster. Typical bureaucratic reaction. You can't hold one responsible for certain results if he/she is not in control of the events. Can scientists control earthquakes? All they can do is to predict it and alert the others, within the limitations of sometimes-faulty technology and time.
- Amazing, this Italian justice system. They put scientists in jail for what, six years, for not predicting an earthquake (wonder how all the TV weather forecasters are feeling...), and they give a highly corrupt politician FOUR years for tax evasion. Berlusconi may not serve one day, and if he does, it will be in luxury, maybe house arrest. Remind me never to go to Italy, they might arrest me for wearing the wrong clothes. They would charge me for not knowing the Italian styles. Italy, you are now the laughing stock of the world, next to the USA.
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