Judge Marco Billi in Italy has jailed 6 scientists for 6 years each, for failing to warn residents of the central Italian town L'Aquila about a deadly earthquake.  

One of the scientists, according to the SMH, advised local residents to 'relax with a glass of wine'.  Six days later a 6.3-magnitude earthquake killed more than 300 people:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-23/scientists-in-shock-at-outlandish-earthquake-ruling/4330438

The judgement (which could equally affect scientists involved in climate change, floods, bush fires etc) raises a whole lot of issues about scientists and communication.

And it gives an interesting perspective to a symposium on disasters and science communication in Christchurch next year.

A program is about to be posted on the SCANZ website.  The symposium is on 21-22 February 2013, and is jointly hosted by PCST and the Science Communicator's Assn of New Zealand.  It marks the 2 year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch in 2011.  

Toss Gascoigne




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Toss Gascoigne
President
PCST Network

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