In a guest piece at Scientific American, David Ropeik argues that an Italian court's decision to charge scientists and a government official with manslaughter isn't about quake prediction per se, but a failure to communicate science effectively. Snip:
But, contrary to the majority of the news coverage this decision is getting and the gnashing of teeth in the scientific community, the trial was not about science, not about seismology, not about the ability or inability of scientists to predict earthquakes. These convictions were about poor risk communication, and more broadly, about the responsibility scientists have as citizens to share their expertise in order to help people make informed and healthy choices.
An editorial from Nature, a publication that covered the case extensively in 2011, echoes this sentiment. "It is important to note that the seven were not on trial for failing to predict the earthquake," but...
The verdict is perverse and the sentence ludicrous. Already some scientists have responded with warnings about the chilling effect on their ability to serve in public risk assessments.
In Switzerland, the state-owned Swissmint says today that a 2.96-millimeter (0.12-inches) gold coin created with Albert Einstein’s face on it is the smallest in the world.
Researchers in Berlin claim to have succeeded in re-creating the sound of the voice of an Egyptian person who died 3,000 years ago, and was entombed as a mummy.
The massive scale and force of the ongoing bushfires in Australia is hard to comprehend.
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