Editor’s note: The following is the text of an address given at the Public Policy Luncheon of the Seismological Society of America (SSA) Annual Meeting on 19 April 2012. In light of the manslaughter convictions handed down for six earth scientists and a public safety official in an Italian court on 22 October 2012, SRL is publishing the content of this presentation. The recorded presentation can be accessed at www.seismosoc.org/italy/. See SSA’s statement on the convictions in the News and Notes column in this issue of SRL or at http://www.seismosoc.org/news/newsitem.php?id=i20121011183.

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The L’Aquila earthquake of 6 April 2009 (magnitude...

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