economist.com – IN THE eyes of many, a verdict handed out by an appeals court in the Italian city of L’Aquila this week represents a return to sanity on the part of the country’s justice system. Two years ago a lower court convicted seven scientists of manslaughter for advice they gave before the earthquake that laid L’Aquila to waste in the early hours of April 6th 2009. Those earlier convictions outraged many inside and outside the world of science, prompting some to compare them, with a touch of hyperbole, to the Church’s condemnation of Galileo for having insisted that the Earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa.

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