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Richard Hamming in his talk about research says that scientists have to put up with stress, and he talks about his ulcers (and he was amongst other things a mathematician). I thought mathematical research should be mostly thinking/ living a life of the mind and thus while involved shouldn't be anxiety-producing... Is mathematical research typically stressful? Are there good researchers that don't have stress?

1 Answer 1

I'm not a mathematician, but being an academic in a tenure-track position may be stressful itself if you're on a publish-or-perish program. I.e., either you generate (mathematical) results year to year in six or seven years or you get fired. The stress may not be in the work itself but in the built up angst thinking about how achieving each new result quickly is, and it can be so bad that sitting down to work on a new problem or even thinking about it can be stressful.