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Powers and pitfalls of introvert researchers

A Ted talk by Susan Cain on the power of introverts got me thinking about finding a balance between the power and pitfalls of introversion as a researcher. Cain argues passionately that valuable deep thought and truly creative and innovative ideas can only bubble to the surface if given enough quietness and solitude. Yet, she points out our society is increasingly organized to promote a more extrovert approach to cooperation, group work and outgoing interaction. The academic environment traditionally respects and fosters quiet contemplation, especially for PhD candidates and postdocs, but even here pressure increases to go public with your ideas: to publish, to participate in conferences, and to valorize their knowledge by reaching out to the general public and cooperate with many organizations.

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