Nature is one phenomenon that has proved to be uncontrollable by humankind. The April 2009 L’Aquila quake disaster indicates how emotions can lead to poor judgment. Seismologists are trained to assess the magnitude of the seismic wave levels and their related dangers. Whether to warn the public or not regarding the predicted destruction of an earthquake solely depends on the public’s anticipated reaction to the information. It is estimated that more people were expected to die in case the public was informed in advance (Povoledo & Fountain, 2012). While keeping in mind the unpredictable state of Mother Nature, the government proceeded with the most erroneous ruling in Italy when it prosecuted the seven scientists, mostly seismologists and geologists.
The ruling on the L’Aquila quake disaster, which sent seven scientists to six-year imprisonment, kills Italian scientists’ morale. Issuing a safety warning was not going to stop the earthquake from occurring. The question should have been how to prevent such a natural disaster from killing another 309 Italian citizens (Johnston, 2021). The Italian government should have focused on protecting the scientists’ interest in predicting and forecasting. This situation will force the Italian scientist to be afraid of being sued in the future, therefore taking away their confidence in exercising their duties. The issue of safety warning should have been the mandate of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks (Johnston, 2021). The ruling at L’Aquila courtroom of fining the scientists $10.2 million indicated that the government had entrusted the lives of the Italian citizens to seven scientists suggesting that the government alone is incompetent.
Nevertheless, being a democratic country, the United States is likely to sue its seismologists and geologists in case the same scenario occurred on its soil. This claim is based on the fact that the USA is a country that values its citizens. Therefore, if an earthquake occurs and kills the citizens due to reluctance in conveying the safety warning, the government will term it incompetence and negligence of duty by the scientists. The question arising here is whether it is good or bad to sue the scientists. With logical reasoning, it is evident that the percentage of preventing a natural disaster from occurring is low (Povoledo & Fountain, 2012). Therefore, suing scientists in the name of incompetence is barbaric and is a sign of being inhumane.
Johnston, A. (2021). L’Aquila quake: Italy scientists guilty of manslaughter. Web.
Povoledo, E., & Fountain, H. (2012). Italy orders jail terms for seven who didn’t warn of a deadly earthquake. The New York Times. Web.