Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Italian Earthquake Experts Found Guilty of "Manslaughter"

In 2009, after many minor tremors, a major earthquake hit an Italian town and this resulted in the deaths of about 300 people.  The Italian government, following this tragedy, arrested several scientists who, according to the government, should have warned the people of the upcoming quake. 

However, the scientists have pointed out that many people died because the government had not done its job of ensuring that the buildings of the town were "earthquake proof."

1)  Why do you think these scientists were arrested?  Are they scapegoats?

2)  Given the fact that these experts did NOT warn the townspeople, do you think they should be punished somehow?  How?

3)  Would you want to work as an earthquake expert in Italy now?  Why/why not?

4)  Who bears greater responsibility for the deaths: the scientists or the government, both or neither?

5)  Do you think the experts were negligent, or do you think they were just being overly cautious, or do you think they did their jobs?

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