This story is, at least on its face, really disturbing:Italian scientists convicted over earthquake warning
Maybe there are details that make it seem less outrageous, but from what I've read so far, the idea that scientists would be convicted in court on manslaughter charges for failing to predict an earthquake is ... really, really ridiculous.
Earthquake prediction is incredibly difficult. The economic damage from "false positives" -- warnings given unnecessarily -- could be very high. Who wants to be responsible for potentially shutting down all economic activity in a major city due to a mistaken warning about a nonexistent earthquake?
For that matter, if you predict a series of earthquakes correctly, and then failed to predict one, people would see the past record of successful predictions as evidence that the "missed" one was malpractice.
This whole concept of holding scientists legally responsible for warning the public about earthquakes just seems incredibly misguided.