Our econlife.com Sunday Charts
Albert Einstein was not so far from the truth when he said, “A person who has not made his great contribution to science by the age of thirty will never do so.”
The Age of Peak Creative Genius
You can see below that Nobel Prize winners and great inventors did their best work when they were close to 40 years old.
Then, hypothesizing that “experimentalists” who depend on past empirical work need more time for a concrete foundation than the theorists whose work is abstract, scholars say peak performance age for Nobel Prize physicists was approximately 36 while winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine averaged 41.
Again changing their perspective, researchers also compared peak creativity in different centuries. Maybe because there was less to learn, the age of optimal creativity (below) has probably risen over time. After all, in 1639 Harvard’s Library had 320 volumes while the Library of Congress’s current count is closer to 35 million.
And here, from an Atlantic article, we have a creativity graph that could apply to many of us:
Our Bottom Line: Economic Growth
The “when and how” of peak creativity has implications for economic growth and education policy. We’ve looked at “when,” For the “how,” let’s see what Malcolm Gladwell has to say: