Age Dynamics in Scientific Creativity, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Data on Nobel Laureates show that the age-creativity relationship varies substantially more over time than across fields. The age dynamics within fields closely mirror field specific shifts in (i) training patterns and (ii) the prevalence of theoretical contributions. These dynamics are especially pronounced in physics and coincide with the emergence of quantum mechanics. Taken together, these findings demonstrate fundamental shifts in the life-cycle of research productivity, inform theories of the age-creativity relationship, and provide observable predictors for the age at which great achievements are made.
Jones, F. Benjamin. 2011. Age Dynamics in Scientific Creativity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108(47): 18855-19096.