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Legal framework and scientific responsibilities during volcanic crises: the case of the El Hierro eruption (2011–2014)

AutorMarrero, José M.; García García, Alicia ; Linares, A.; Berrocoso, M.; Ortiz, Ramón
Palabras claveScientific responsibilities
Legal framework
Volcanic crisis management
El Hierro eruption
Fecha de publicación7-may-2015
CitaciónJournal of Applied Volcanology, 4:13 (2015)
ResumenIn recent years concerns have been growing in the scientific community over the definition of scientific responsibilities during emergencies, and the legal status of scientists involved in the corresponding decision-making. It is clear that the legal framework is one of the main elements affecting this issue; however, many factors may affect both the specific scientific decision-making and the definition of general scientific responsibilities. The situation will vary depending on the type and scale of emergency, and from place to place, even in the same country. There will be no such thing as a single, ideal solution. In the latest El Hierro volcanic crisis many factors have negatively affected the scientific management and have prevented an adequate definition of scientific responsibility. These factors have been detected and documented by the authors. They include excessive pressure due to human and economic issues, a poor legal framework with identifiable deficiencies, an Emergency Plan in which the Volcanic Activity/Alert Level (VAL), Emergency Response Level (ERL) and Volcanic Traffic Light (VTL) have been too rigidly linked, serious weaknesses in the management and structure of the Scientific Committee (SC), and more. Even though some of these problems have now been detected and certain solutions have already been proposed, the slowness and complexity of the bureaucratic processes are making it difficult to implement solutions.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13617-015-0028-8
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