Models in the courtroom
E.S. Bair 2001 Model Validation, Perspectives in Hydrological Science Chapter 5, p. 58-76.
This article provides background information about the societal and technical aspects of the famous 'A Civil Action' trial. It also proposes that the steps involved in constructing a predictive groundwater model are similar to the steps involved in the scientific method and the path that a civil lawsuit takes through the U.S. legal system. The article contains excerpts from the trial testimony of several expert witnesses, a cross section, a potentiometric map, and an aerial photograph of the Woburn, Massachusetts area. It also contains a brief history of the foundations of the U.S. legal system, quotes from a federal judge about the role of scientists in our legal system, and quotes stating why the objectives of science and legal trials have to be different.