Metrics: allow more gradual progress

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New metrics designed to evaluate a scientist's potential, such as a future h-index depending on past trajectories (D. E. Acuna et al. Nature 489, 201–202; 2012), fuel the delusion that only fast results count. Progressive paradigms based on mature ideas, meticulous work, sound ethics, patience and cooperation may be slower, but they still contribute to science in the long term (J.-F. Lutz Nature Chem. 4, 588–589; 2012).

French physicist Louis de Broglie (1892–1987), a pioneer of quantum mechanics, once declared that had Isaac Newton lived in his day and age, Newton might never have become a scientist at all. He would have been bewildered by today's academic rat race and would probably have confined himself to his post as Warden of the Royal Mint instead.

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Correspondence to Pedro Cintas.

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Cintas, P. Metrics: allow more gradual progress. Nature 490, 343 (2012) doi:10.1038/490343c

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