Prestige is overrated?

Grigori Iakovlevitch Perelman proved the longstanding Poincaré conjecture and posted the solution on arXiv. One of the most difficult problems in Mathematics today. However, instead of publishing his work in a prestigious journal, he simply dropped it on an Internet archive. Maybe the Perelman story is meant to teach us something:

If your ideas are important enough and you get them out, people will pay attention to them, whether you publish in a high prestige peer-reviewed journal or not.

For more insights, see what Downes had to say.

Daniel Lemire, "Prestige is overrated?," in Daniel Lemire's blog, August 23, 2006.

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

2 thoughts on “Prestige is overrated?”

  1. On the other hand, financial reasons lead us to jump through the hoops demanded by our employers, publication in peer-reviewed journals perhaps being one of them (especially important for those of us not in the running for Fields Medals).

    There are also counter-examples, in which researchers are lauded for work which is actually superseded by or inferior to previously-published work, but which gains notoriety by virtue of publication in a more prestigious/visible venue.

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