Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Italian Earthquake Prediction

Another Empty Blog exclusive: Italian seismologists have just issued a new assessment of earthquake risks. You can't say you weren't warned now!

Among all the outrage (surrounding this, for anyone who slept through it), there are more nuanced views (expressed prior to the verdict) about whether the scientists' statements were negligently falsely confident rather than just being unfortunate. Irrespective of whether they could have been expected to predict the quake, "absolutely no risk" is an unfortunate choice of words.

One predictable outcome is that Italian seismologists (and presumably scientists in other fields) will be rather less willing to proffer risk-relevant advice in any sort of official capacity, at least in Italy. Hard to see this sort of trial catching on in Japan, where such risk management failures are seen as a cultural imperative.

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