Hey kids! Got dreams of being a scientist? Well don’t do it – because if you do, you risk being thrown in prison for six years, barred from public employment for life, and liable for court costs and damages, all because you failed to say exactly when an earthquake was going to happen.
Six Italian scientists and an ex-government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 deadly earthquake in L’Aquila.
A regional court found them guilty of multiple manslaughter.
Prosecutors said the defendants gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defence maintained there was no way to predict major quakes.
The seven – all members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks – were accused of having provided “inexact, incomplete and contradictory” information about the danger of the tremors felt ahead of 6 April 2009 quake, Italian media report.
In addition to their sentences, all have been barred from ever holding public office again, La Repubblica reports.
The judge also ordered the defendants to pay court costs and damages.
The irrationality of it is frightening. Yes it was a really bad earthquake, but the badness of the earthquake doesn’t make scientists who failed to predict it more guilty. Jeezis. Wouldn’t you kind of expect a judge to realize that?
I have a prediction: Italy will suddenly find itself bereft of scientists.