Scientists Who Try Again Attain Success After Initial Failures in Career
Failures early in the career can lead to greater success in the longer term for
those who try again, according to scientists at Northwestern University's
Kellogg School of Management. This conclusion was based on
advanced analytics to find the relationship between professional failure and
success for young scientists. What does not kill you, really makes you
stronger, accordign to Yang Wang the author of the study titlte "Early
setback and future career impact" published in Nature Communications.
The findings provide a counter-narrative to the Matthew Effect, which posits a "rich get richer" theory that success begets more success."It turns out that, historically, while we have been relatively successful in pinpointing the benefits of success, we have failed to understand the impact of failure," said Dashun Wang, corresponding author and associate professor of management and organizations at Kellogg.The researchers analysed the scientists who had applied for grant from National Institutes of Health. It included 'near-misses' and 'just-made-its' whose scores were just above that threshold. Researchers then considered how many papers each group published, on average, over the next 10 years and how many of those papers turned out to be hits, as determined by the number of citations those papers received. Analysis revealed that individuals in the near-miss group received less funding, but published just as many papers, and more hit papers, than individuals in the just-made-it group. The researchers found that individuals in the near-miss funding group were 6.1% more likely to publish a hit paper over the next 10 years compared to scientists in the just-made-it group.