Guest “you couldn’t make this sort of schist up, if you were trying” by David Middleton
Pompeii row erupts between rival scientific factions
Volcanologists say excavations by archaeologists are destroying useful clues about lava flow
Hannah Devlin Science correspondent
Mon 22 Jul 2019 02.00 EDT
After years of simmering tensions, a row has broken out between the two scientific factions, and volcanologists published an open letter in the journal Nature this month criticising the “alarming” destruction of volcanic deposits.
“They seem not to realise that the enthusiasm for archaeology is committing an act of vandalism to volcanology,” said Roberto Scandone, a professor of volcanology at the Roma Tre University. “Leaving some of the deposits in place is valuable not only for scientists but also for visitors, who will be able to see at first hand how the volcano destroyed the town.”
Archaeologists say they are collaborating with volcanologists at the University of Naples and point out there is plenty more volcanic rock for earth scientists to work on beyond the zone of archaeological interest.
Christopher Kilburn, an earth scientist at University College London, believes the reason Pompeii has become a town synonymous with catastrophe has been sidelined. “There’s a sense of frustration that volcanology is not being taken terribly seriously,” he said. “You go to Pompeii and there’s virtually no mention of the volcano at all.”
According to Kilburn, scientists have been barred from accessing certain areas for health and safety reasons. “But when something interesting is found, all the TV crews and media were there,” he said. “It seems it wasn’t dangerous to them but was dangerous to the professional volcanologists.”
Douglas AdamsThe Grauniad
Is it volcanologist or vulcanologist?
volcanologist; vulcanologist One versed in the study of volcanic phenomena. A volcanist.American Geological Institute. Dictionary of Geological Terms. Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1976.
While, I would side with the volcanologists on this… I think this is the real source of the dispute…
“Many respectable― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (paraphrased)
physicists volcanologists vulcanologistsvolcanists said that they weren’t going to stand for this — partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn’t get invited to those sort of parties.”
Funny thing, the Grauniad Cheeseface bit was personalized…
You’ve read 5 articles…
… in the last month. If you’ve enjoyed reading, we hope you will consider supporting our independent, investigative journalism today. More people around the world are reading and supporting The Guardian than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.
I support The Grauniad by drawing attention to its abysmal science journalism… Although, in this particular case, the science journalism wasn’t abysmal… It was Douglas Adams-like…