Thursday, March 18, 2010
Last month, the Wall Street Journal offered a very interesting article suggesting that the best science may be done by young scientists in their 20’s. Granted, the same paradigm does not apply to legal scholars, but the article may nonetheless be worrisome for some, including this blogger:
Scientific revolutions are often led by the youngest scientists. Isaac Newton was 23 when he began inventing calculus; Albert Einstein published several of his most important papers at the tender age of 26; Werner Heisenberg pioneered quantum mechanics in his mid-20s. At the time, these men were all inexperienced and immature, and yet they managed to transform their fields.
Youth and creativity have long been interwoven; as Samuel Johnson once said, "Youth is the time of enterprise and hope." Unburdened by old habits and prejudices, a mind in fresh bloom is poised to see the world anew and come up with fresh innovations—solutions to problems that have sometimes eluded others for ages.
Such innovation could be at risk in modern science, as the number of successful young scientists dramatically shrinks.
Read more here.