The L’Aquila sentences – the role and responsibility of scientists

By Alessandro Bettini. Published on 27 January 2015 in:
2015, January 2015, News, ,

On 10 November 2014 the L’Aquila appellate court cleared Italian scientists of the manslaughter charges after the earthquake of 6 April 2009. The six leading scientists and disaster experts, and the Deputy Head of the Department of Civil Protection [DPC], had been given, in the first instance trial in 2012, a six-year jail sentence. “The credibility of Italy’s entire scientific community has been restored” commented S. Gresta, the president of the INGV.

In the L’Aquila region, an area of high seismic activity, a seismic sequence started in January 2009 and continued in …

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Editorial — Improving the image of physics

By Averil McDonald. Published on 26 March 2014 in:
Editorial, March 2014, , , ,

Ask any child to draw a picture of a scientist and you will receive, from that proud, smiling child, a picture of an elderly male with mad hair and a white lab coat. You, too, will smile, as you will be mildly amused by how even the youngest child absorbs our society’s stereotypes so readily. You may then become slightly annoyed by the stereotypical image, but may reassure yourself that this young person will soon learn how much more diverse scientists are in the real world.
But how to excuse Google the same mistake? A search will provide a collection of images which are at least as…

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