Scientists Found Guilty
[Editor’s note: Six Italian scientists and one government official were found guilty recently of multiple manslaughter for underestimating the risks of a killer earthquake in L’Aquila Italy in 2009. See this excellent article in Nature for more information]
The Italian and scientific international community has been left shocked by the sentencing to six years in prison and to a fine more than 7 million Euro for the members of the “Great Risks Commission” (GRC) regarding the earthquake in the city of Aquila in 2008.
The Presidency of Council must also pay together with GRC.
The case is about the lack of a public declaration regarding the possibility of a “Big One” earthquake that the Italian Judges believe are the duties of the same Commission.
The accusation was even of accidental murders and injuries.
As you know there is no scientific possibility to predict seismic events like earthquakes. [See Radon To Predict Earthquakes? Most Scientists Still Skeptical]
In the country of Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno, martyrs of Science, this fact seems to signal the return to a period of dark ages. I, as physicist and politician, have made several press communications, letters, articles and institutional actions regarding this question.
Science has no institutional duties, but it must give only support to decision makers; and so we can’t expect any more from scientists even if it is clear that judges cover the spaces that politics sometimes leave deliberately uncovered.
This issue regards the delicate theme of the relationship between Science, Politics and Society, and prejudices–in my opinion- the possibilities, in the future, to express an opinion about these kinds of events.
Transhumanism Under Attack
Unfortunately I must also mention a rude article of the Italian newspaper “Il Foglio”, Mr transhumanist: He played with the Bees, teaches Seraphicum and wants to improve the species, by its director Giuliano Ferrara that is infamously known for his backward positions against Science and Technology in general and Transhumanism in particular.
After this article I was called by Vatican University of Seraphicum, in Rome, where I taught for 3 years “energy and environment”; they told me that I was dismissed without notice because very high authorities of Vatican were very angry with me (perhaps the Pope Benedetto XVI). In Italy, Catholic Church doesn’t pay taxes to Italian State.
— Giuseppe Vatinno