New study finds scientists work a lot

Who knew?!  Reminds me of the Onion article National Science Foundation: Science Hard:

For centuries, we have embraced the pursuit of scientific knowledge as one of the noblest and worthiest of human endeavors, one leading to the enrichment of mankind both today and for future generations,” said keynote speaker and NSF chairman Louis Farian. “However, a breakthrough discovery is challenging our long-held perceptions about our discipline—the discovery that science is really, really hard.

The new actual study uses the timing of downloads of scientific publications to determine when scientists work and proves – as if this needed proving – that scientists work too much!

A new study has found what many already know – that when the sun goes down researchers don’t go to bed, but continue working on into the wee small hours of the night. And many of them also carry on working through the weekend too.

In the science community, achievements always correlate with hard work,’ according to a paper written by a team of Chinese researchers, who have been following the working habits of scientists around the world. ‘Motivated by the pressure of competition from all over the world, most scientists today are living and breathing their work.

However, scientists in the US were most likely to be working through the night, with post-midnight to sunrise downloads remaining between 100 and 300 downloads for each 10-minute time slot, compared with the weekday late afternoon highs of around 700 downloads. Downloads in Germany and China generally tapered off sharply after midnight to below 50 downloads every 10 minutes until sunrise.

On weekends, night time downloads in all three nations were nearly identical to night time downloads on weekdays. However, weekend downloads during the day in all three nations were down from weekday levels, but not as sharply in China as in the US and Germany.

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