But ultimately, these predictions are important because they provide testable cases for how well we understand the process of scientific discovery. If we can quantify the path of discovery well enough, then we should be able to predict its future path, and not simply characterize the shape of past discovery. By making such predictions, we, as scientists, are making the sorts of testable predictions that are important for developing models and mathematical theories of how science is done. The predictions then are the way that the science of science, or scientometrics, can move forward. And understanding how science is done can help us better move toward continuing progress in increasing our knowledge.
Any other reasons to predict future discoveries?