By Benedict Carey
The question hangs over the career of every ambitious soul: Is there still time to make a mark?
Charles Darwin was 29 when he came up with his theory of natural selection. Einstein had his annus mirabilis at age 26; Marie Curie made big discoveries about radiation in her late 20s. Mozart’s Symphony No. 1 in E flat: 8 years old.
For years, scientists who study achievement have noted that in many fields the most electrifying work comes earlier in life rather than later. After all, younger people can devote their life to a project in a way that more senior people cannot, and young stars attract support, mentors and prestigious appointments.
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