Thursday, November 13, 2014

The L'Aquila earthquake case: a brief note

The L'Aquila trial has had a positive outcome for the six scientists involved.
Their acquittal is complete: the crime does not subsist (paragraph 1, Art. 530 of the Italian Criminal Code). So, the scientists have not committed crimes.

The IAPG has followed the L'Aquila earthquake-case from the beginning, because of its important  geoethical implications.

The IAPG session on Geoethics at the EGU 2013 

In 2013, the IAPG organized a session on Geoethics (NH9.8 - Geoethics: Ethical Challenges In Communication, Geoeducation And Management of Natural Hazards:; convenership: Silvia Peppoloni, Susan Kieffer, Janusz Wasowski, Elizabeth Silva and Meng Wang) at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna, focused on this unfortunate case. 

The session was attended by prominent scientists, including Massimo Cocco, Tomas Jordan and Max Wyss.

Massimo Cocco 
(INGV - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia)
Thomas Jordan 
(Southern California Earthquake Center at The University of Southern California) 
Max Wyss 
(Past Director of the World Agency of Planetary Monitoring & Earthquake Risk Reduction)

The IAPG, in collaboration with the AGI and the YES Network, organized a webinar of that session ( in order to allow geoscientists from all over the world to follow oral presentations and slides.

We take this opportunity to inform you that an important book will be published by November 2014: “Wyss M. & Peppoloni S. (Eds). Geoethics: Ethical Challenges and Case Studies in Earth Sciences. 2014, 450 p. Elsevier” (, in which space is given to the L'Aquila earthquake-case.

A second book on Geoethics will be published in 2015. It will contain a detailed article on the L'Aquila trial.

It is desiderable that this case can be transformed into an important moment to reflect upon the social role of geoscientists, in order to improve their relationships with the population, politicians and mass-media.

An in-depth analysis of the L'Aquila earthquake case may contribute to increase the trust of citizens towards the geoscientists and to develop more effective strategies in the defense against natural hazards.

Pictures from: