Younger Academic Mentors More Effective

EVANSTON, Ill., June 4 (UPI) — The older a mentor gets, the less time he or she has to spend mentoring younger professionals, a U.S. researchers says.

“It’s a phenomenon in our culture that as you gain more importance and success you are expected to oversee more and more people, which means that face time with your proteges goes down,” first author R. Dean Malmgren, a post-doctoral fellow at Northwestern University, says in a statement. “This tradeoff has negative consequences.”


Malmgren and colleagues analyzed the mentoring of 7,259 mathematicians who graduated from 1900 to 1960.

The study, published in the journal Nature, finds the most successful professors were excellent mentors in the first one-third of their career, but did a bad job the last one-third of their career.

“The causes for what we are observing are totally unknown, but what is clear is that patterns exist,” study co-author Julio M. Ottino, dean of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University, says.

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Categorized | Engineering, Other
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