Social Studies of Science 33 (1):137-49 (2003)

K. Brad Wray
Aarhus University
It has often been remarked that science is a young man's game. Thomas Kuhn, for example, claims that revolutionary changes in science are almost always initiated by either young scientists or those new to a field. I subject Kuhn's hypothesis to testing. I examine 24 revolutionary scientific figures mentioned in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions to determine if young scientists are more likely to make revolutionary discoveries than older scientists. My analysis suggests that middle-aged scientists are responsible for initiating more scientific revolutions than young scientists, given the proportion of each group in the total population of scientists. I argue that the popular myth about the correlation between youth and scientific discovery fails to take into account the proportion of young scientists in the population of scientists.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Credit Incentive to Be a Maverick.Remco Heesen - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 76:5-12.
Kuhnian Revolutions Revisited.K. Brad Wray - 2007 - Synthese 158 (1):61-73.
The Adaptive Landscape of Science.John S. Wilkins - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (5):659-671.
The Cognition Dimension of Theory Change in Kuhn’s Philosophy of Science.K. Brad Wray - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (3):610-613.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
14 ( #728,532 of 2,498,318 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #426,910 of 2,498,318 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes