Article par Megan Scudellari, The retirement debate: Stay at the bench, or make way for the next generation, vol. 521, no 7550, 2015.

« Hans-Hilger Ropers vividly recalls the moment when he realized that he was running out of time to fulfil his scientific ambitions. It was at a lecture series in 2002, and the first three talks, delivered by distinguished colleagues from Max Planck Institutes (MPIs) across Germany, each began with a variation of, “Ladies and gentlemen, what I’m going to talk about today has kept me busy for 20 years.”

Ropers did not have 20 years. He had become director of the MPI Department of Human Molecular Genetics in Berlin when he was 51. He was fast approaching 60, and under German law he would be required to retire in 5 years. Ropers knew that he would not have enough time to complete his work on the genetic underpinnings of early-onset cognitive disorders. He also knew that when he retired, the institute would dissolve his 70-member department, so his employees would be out of jobs. »

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