Stop WorkSafe from prosecuting GNS Science
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The announcement of charges being laid against GNS Science regarding the Whakaari/White Island eruption in 2019 defies logic and good sense. Surely we live in more enlightened times and have come a long way since the dark ages and the burning of people at the stakes. The scientific community and most of the general public understand that volcano eruptions and earthquakes cannot be predicted, so it is mystifying to comprehend exactly what it is that WorkSafe will be charging GNS Science with.
Absolutely no good at all will come from a prosecution but a lot of potential harm is inevitable if GNS Science have to be fearful of making public statements or providing information to the general public and other agencies. In fact, it goes against everything that GNS Science works and stands for i.e education and enlightenment. The Association of Scientists is warning that the charges facing a Crown Research Institute could mute the scientific community, preventing the sharing of vital information in a crisis.
If WorkSafe, the overseer of all Health and Safety requirements in NZ, have not themselves deemed the prediction of an eruption a requirement and conveyed this to GeoScience, why are they now prosecuting. Perhaps they do not fully understand the complexities of forecasting and predicting events for mother nature.
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