Scientists rush to place their bets on relative certainty

Nic Fleming in The Telegraph:

To some bright spark at Ladbrokes, it seemed like a novel and fun way to generate some publicity.

In collaboration with New Scientist magazine, the bookmaker last summer offered odds on five science projects coming off by 2010.

Punters were offered odds of 10,000-1 against the discovery of life on Titan and 100-1 against the building of a fusion power station.

But it was news of an offer of 500-1 that gravitational waves would not be detected by the end of the decade that spread like wildfire among a select band of physicists and astronomers.

After more than three decades of hunting for them, Prof Jim Hough of Glasgow University, did not hesitate to call the bookmakers.

More here.