Malpractice Insurance for Government Scientists

I never before lusted for a career as an insurance salesman.

Compared to public administration, it seemed like a pretty stressful profession. You have to get up and hit the road running early every day just to engage others who don’t want your wares. You are never sure what your next pay day will be like. You interface between clients with need and companies with greed, and you have to outrun aggressive, multi-pronged competition.

You even struggle to enjoy social time as the “Insurance Salesman” and the always-to-be-avoided pariah by the punch bowl.

But I started to change my opinion a few years ago.

I see a real opportunity opening up in the insurance industry to not only make a lot of money, but to serve the greater good with a new service that will help people around the world.

I’m going to sell malpractice insurance to government scientists.

My views started to change about while ago when an Italian court sentenced a group of scientists to six years in prison and charged them over $10 million (Castorian dollars) in damages after convicting them of manslaughter for not predicting the earthquake that hit the a small mountain town.  The court and many politicians considered this akin to criminal negligence. 

Prestigious journals and experts around the world pointed out that the Italian court “fundamentally misunderstands how geophysics and seismology work” and parts of the ruling were eventually overturned, but the precedent led other politicians in other places to demonize science and feed mistrust, paranoia, and fear in the scientific community. All key ingredients to market growth and insurance product design.

My Scientist Malpractice Insurance Plan will not protect researchers from imprisonment, but it will cover them financially in the event they are sued for not figuring things out as fast as senior bureaucrats or politicians would like or for not inventing things that the government did not know it needed until it was too late.

I have discussed this concept with friends, and even those with absolutely no scientific training, understanding, or interests are quick to recognize the limitless business potential and need for a new kind of insurance coverage.

They also note that there are many, many ways that we suffer and experience hardship because negligent and lax government scientists have not discovered something or otherwise done their jobs in a competent manner. The need for someone to invent beer cans that open themselves and toilet paper rolls that never run out were just two of the expense-inducing examples that came quickly to mind in the informal focus group meeting on my new insurance business idea.

Many people and governments are sure to benefit from this new scheme.  It will allow us to criminally charge and sue scientists, collect fines, and still put them back to work quickly. I believe that my Scientist Malpractice Insurance plan will also be of some benefit to the scientists themselves.

Purchasing my insurance products will allow government scientists to do something that gives them a sense of comfort and the illusion that they can protect themselves from a phenomenon which is capricious, frightening, and ultimately unpredictable.

Kind of like the forces behind the Italian court decision.