Scientists in Italy have been convicted of multiple manslaughter after a 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila killed 309 people. The six Italian scientists and one former government official were accused of providing falsely reassuring statements after initial tremors hit the area. Should scientists and government officials be held accountable for natural disasters? Are they responsible for providing correct information in unpredictable situations? In the event of a major earthquake here in Southern California, would you hold local officials responsible for damage and casualties?
Tom Jordan, professor of Earth Sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and director of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)