Italian Scientists Jailed for Failing to Predict an Earthquake
Convicted of manslaughter for failing to predict not merely the timing, but the severity of the earthquake. I always assumed that this was the kind of thing that could only happen in backwards, irrational, supernatural-obsessed places (Hmmm. Maybe it did). Ophelia Benson at Butterflies & Wheels nails it:
I have a prediction: Italy will suddenly find itself bereft of scientists.
In keeping with this judge's verdict, will we jail meteorologists when they fail to predict rain that contributes to drivers skidding and crashing on the road? For that matter, are we now going to start jailing economists for failing to predict exactly when poor financial indicators turn into a full-blown meltdown? It's not just scientists -- we often rely on inconveniently imperfect data in many aspects of life.