In a recent article in Wired Magazine, science writer Sarah Zhang takes scientists to task for their continued use of the Moment Magnitude Moment Scale (based on the out-dated Richter scale) as a means of communicating with the public about earthquakes. Most people don't understand logarithmic scales in which a magnitude 8 earthquake is not 32 times larger than a magnitude 7 earthquake. Scientists continue to search for a public-friendly way of makis such information clear.
If you would prefer to hear a story rather than read the article, NPR's Science Friday interviews seismologist Lucy Jones, who is also not a fan of the current system, who proposes one based on the Aki. Listen to learn more.