It is clear that mentors, in academia and elsewhere, influence the future success of their protégés, but it is unclear to what extent they influence future mentorship skills and career choices of their protégés. The records of the Mathematics Genealogy Project, which track the careers of 114,666 mathematicians since 1637, provide a data set with sufficient detail for those questions to be addressed. Malmgren et al. determine that career success of academic mathematicians was correlated with how many protégés they mentored, and the protégés of mentors with small trainee pools went on to have significantly larger than expected mentorship pools themselves. [Letter p. 622]
- The role of mentorship in protégé performance (Letter p622, doi: 10.1038/nature09040)
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