‘There’s no space for today’s young Einsteins’



I entered science full of optimism and left a top ivy league university lab feeling disillusioned with lack of meaning in my work. My advisor encouraged each of us graduate students that a scientific career was reserved for only the fittest…in a Darwinian sense of the term. In fact, today’s scientific career leaves very little space for neurodiversity. Introverts (like Einstein) just cannot flourish in an environment where people are encouraged to publish or perish. The science of today is filled with errors and irreproducibility because all the truth-seeking/meaning-driven people have been weeded out by the system and those that remain are of certain personality types that drive a certain type of science. Perhaps this is particularly true of the biological sciences although such attitudes in academic theoretical physics are increasingly commonplace.This article at the Guardian sums it up clearly here :

If Einstein’s project had relied on a grant application today, it would surely be rejected; probably no young scientist could afford the luxury of contemplating it in the first place. It’s not clear there is a space for Einsteins in modern science any longer.