I thought I'd seen it all this evening when I opened my email to find an extensive warning email about laser pointer safety (!) from the SPIE (presumably sent to me because I'm speaking at an upcoming meeting, not because they think I'm a danger to myself and others when armed with a laser pointer). Remember, laser pointers are all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. This warning actually did include the sentence "NEVER stare directly into the beam of a laser pointer!". Whew! Good thing they warned me, in case my advanced degree hadn't given me sufficient critical thinking skills to reason that out for myself. The last line of the email made clear the real reason for sending it. They boldly declaim that any person using a laser pointer at an SPIE event but not adhering to the outlined safety protocols is personally liable in the event of injuries, and the SPIE is not liable. I consider this direct observational proof that our society has too many risk management and personal injury lawyers.
That paled compared to my reaction to this story, though. It would appear the Purdue University has done a thorough and careful investigation of claims of research misconduct in the case of Rusi Taleyarkhan, the scientist who claims to have used sonoluminescence of deuterated acetone to produce table-top-scale fusion. In the spirit of scientific openness and transparency, Purdue has decided to not make public the result of its investigation. So, either Taleyarkhan is legit, and Purdue is content to let his reputation suffer, or they think he's a fraud, but are content not to tell the scientific community, or some mysterious third alternative. What on earth is Purdue's administration thinking with this? Did they assume noone would notice?