In a recent NOVA episode on Quantum entanglement, one interesting detail caught my attention.
A very particular photograph is mentioned. Taken in Belgium in 1927, at the Solvay Conference on Electrons and Photons. As is customary, a group portrait was taken with the attendees to the conference. Classic layout, the first row sitting on chairs, and then the following ones propped up on a staircase at the front of the venue where the conference was held.
In the picture, there is Piccard, Schroedinger, Heissenberg, DeBroglie, Planck, Lorentz, and even Curie and Einstein. Probably the photograph with the most heavy-weight physicists in history together.
Now imagine that you are a physicist, and imagine being there, you are on that photograph. Pretty cool, Right? I mean, you are part of “the group”, “the clicke”.
But here is the thing: out of this select group of 28 eminences, ONLY 17 were awarded a Nobel Prize.
Now imagine you are not one of those 17. All your friends have Nobels, except you.
Not so cool anymore, Huh?
It is very much ok to strive to be the best in your field, but It is always good to look back with gratitude and recognize your accomplishments.
The best way to not be a loser, is to stop thinking about yourself as one.
Picture from Wikimedia Commons, consider a donation this end of year.