Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Trying to become a successful academic seems about as insane as trying to become a rock star.

Here's Peter Higgs on the subject of how academics today compares to the past: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/06/peter-higgs-b...

Most people I know who went down the academic route have left the world or are seriously thinking about leaving. I know a couple people with positions at top universities, and around the age of 30 their careers are just starting, with tenure being potentially a coin flip.

And it always traps the most brilliant people. That's the worst part.

Here's a contrary point of view: by his own admission in that article, Higgs has published "fewer than 10" papers in the last 50 years! What has he been doing since 1964?

Raw metrics like papers and citations are easily gamed, and not great ways to evaluate productivity, but surely there are limits...

(And before you say, "but he gave us the Higgs!", several other researchers did closely related work at the same time [1], so humanity would still know about a mass-producing scalar boson.)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_PRL_symmetry_breaking_pap...

Great article, thanks.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact