Tuesday, 20 September 2011
The decision to put six Italian seismologists and a former government official on trial for failing to predict an earthquake shows a fundamental failure to grasp the nature of science, according to researchers.
The scientists are standing trial on manslaughter charges for allegedly failing to adequately warn residents about an earthquake that went on to kill more than 300 people in Italy in 2009.
The legal move has provoked anger from seismologists around the world, who see it as an attack on science, and who insist it is impossible to predict earthquakes.
Around 5,200 international researchers signed a petition last year supporting the Italian scientists, and the Seismological Society of America wrote to Italy's president voicing its concern about what it called an unprecedented legal attack on science.
Monday, 12 September 2011
|Inside the entrance of the Nobel Museum|
Alfred Nobel's decision to bequeath the lion's share of his wealth to establishing a prize caused huge controversy in his native Sweden, but despite his own family opposing the establishment of the Nobel Prize, his enduring legacy has so far seen 543 of the awards handed out since it began 110 years ago.
The Nobel Museum in Stockholm chronicles the award's history, the founder's life, and his posthumous battle to set up the prize, with the awarders themselves refusing to do what he had requested in his will - it ended up taking five years before the first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1901.