Friday, May 27, 2011

I think the Italian government has lost its mind!

I can hardly believe this report in the Daily Mail.

Accusations of manslaughter against Italy's top seismologist for failing to predict a devastating natural disaster have been likened to a 'witch hunt' by leading geologists.

Enzo Boschi, president of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), is now facing a trial - along with six others - for failing to predict an earthquake that killed 308 people in 2009.

The accusations were made by Italian Government officials, who say the scientists and technicians should have warned the pubic, it has been reported.

A spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) told 'It has a medieval flavor to it -- like witches are being put on trial.'

According to the USGS earthquakes are almost impossible to forecast and no major earthquake has ever been successfully predicted.

. . .

The [scientists] were accused, by Judge Guiseppe Romano Gargarella, of supplying 'imprecise, incomplete and contradictory information' during a press conference held before the quake.

The judge said that in doing so they thwarted activities designed to protect the public.

There's more at the link.

How on earth do these officials expect seismologists to be more precise? They gave warning that a big earthquake was inevitable. The only way they could be more precise than that would be to use ESP or divination - neither of which is scientific! Do the bureaucrats expect scientists to work miracles to order? Perhaps the scientists should tell the bureaucrats to take up the matter with the Vatican?

Ye Gods and little fishes . . .




Matthew said...

But, tv, movies and the media all tell me scientists can do anything.

Obviously these seismologists simply failed to "enhance" and "zoom in" enough on their data.

Which makes them either negligent or incompetent, QED.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a Monty Python sketch.