Business is the only area of human activity where you get paid to change your mind

“A few years ago, a team led by Pierre Azoulay at MIT set out to test Max Planck’s maxim that ‘science progresses one funeral at a time’. They found 452 elite scientists who had died prematurely between 1975 and 2003 and measured the effect of their death on work in their respective fields. After the death, the number of articles by collaborators of the deceased fell dramatically — by about 40 per cent. But non-collaborators published 8 per cent more. Five years after a death, the extra activity from non-collaborators offset the fall in productivity of collaborators. Moreover ‘these additional contributions are disproportionately likely to be highly cited’, the researchers found, ‘and more likely to be authored by scientists not previously active in the deceased superstar’s field’. “


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