Earlier this month, an Italian prosecutor issued indictments against six scientists and a government official for failing to predict a large earthquake that struck L'Aquila, Italy, in April of last year. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishes ScienceInsider, says those charges are "unfair and naïve," in a letter to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano sent today:
Years of research, much of it conducted by distinguished seismologists in your own country, have demonstrated that there is no accepted scientific method for earthquake prediction that can be reliably used to warn citizens of an impending disaster…subjecting scientists to criminal charges for adhering to accepted scientific practices may have a chilling effect on researchers.
This item has been corrected. The original item gave the wrong date for the earthquake.