Scientists can publish their best work at any age.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Late Bloomers
Not intuitive, but inspiring:
That’s the finding of a team led by Albert-László Barabási at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. The researchers analysed the papers of thousands of scientists from different disciplines. Considering their publication records as a sequence of articles, the most highly-cited were equally likely to be found at the beginning, middle or end of the sequence1.
“We scientists are random,” Barabási says. “Every time we publish a paper, we have the same chance of publishing our biggest hit as we do with any other paper.”
In addition, it has been shown that crystallized intelligence actually improves with age (outside of old age). Fluid intelligence does begin decrease in ones 30s but it does not do so rapidly. The point is that an individual scientist's best work is unique to that individual.