Risk communication provided by experts during the days prior to the earthquake on April 6, 2009 in L’Aquila (central Italy) resulted in a controversial court case that still has significant repercussions at an international level. Indeed, the trial against the members of the official government body for the forecast and prevention of major risks stimulated an intense debate about the relationship between scientific knowledge and risk communication, and more generally between science and politics. As a matter of fact, the failure to provide the population with timely and coherent information regarding the possibility of a high magnitude earthquake revealed the controversial role of experts, especially when they turn out to be incautious and politically subjugated. This case is also emblematic for another reason. It was the first time in Italy that an anthropologist advised the Court, helping to analyse scientific communication, and the way this communication was perceived and put into practice by the local population. With the trial already concluded, this article seeks to re-interpret the L’Aquila case in order to analyze the role scientific knowledge played in the courtroom by considering both the expert advice provided by accused scientists and the consultation provided by outside experts during the trial. The analysis of the L’Aquila case will also be used to reflect on the role of expert knowledge in disasters and the need for strengthening integrated research for preventing catastrophes and avoiding judicial controversies caused by risk communication.
|Titolo:||The Earth Will Tremble? Expert Knowledge Confronted after the 2009 L’Aquila Earthquake|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|