Americans, in general, are notoriously impatient. We have fast food, overnight mail, instant coffee, and even drive-through pharmacies. American science, in its own way, has been affected by this unrelenting dash for the finish line. However, this was not always so. When science was in its infancy, a scientist could lead what was considered to be a respected and productive career whether or not he had contributed to the latest journals, secured an exclusive patent, or won a prestigious prize. There was an appreciation of the scientific process as a kind of meditation. Not coincidentally, many of the notable figures in science history were cloistered monks. How could scientists such as Gregor Mendel while away the weeks and months counting wrinkled peas? There is no doubt that the spirit of the times has changed, and science has changed with it.
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