Six Italian scientists and one government official, have been convicted of manslaughter following the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009. The charges alleged that the scientists, members of the National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks, gave “ incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information” and failed to "adequately evaluate and communicate the risk to the local population”
This verdict may have serious implications for all scientists who advise decision makers, public bodies and the general public. Sadly, it seems likely this case will make scientists far more cautious when approached for advice regarding potential hazards.
Further information about the trial and details of the L'Aquila earthquake can be found here.