Future Frontiers in Astrophysics: Suggestions for Young Researchers
(5/13/2011) 76 minutes
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It is common practice among young astrophysicists these days to invest research time conservatively in mainstream ideas that have already been explored extensively in the literature. This tendency is driven by peer pressure and job market prospects. In this short essay, which summarizes a banquet lecture at a recent conference, I give examples for both safe and risky topics in astrophysics (which I split into categories of "bonds," "stocks," and "venture capital"), and argue that young researchers should always allocate a small fraction of their academic portfolio to innovative projects with risky but potentially highly profitable returns.


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