People and personalities vary, but generally I have always considered scientists to be a fairly average cross section of the human race. So is it true that narcissism is a problem in science? EPFL’s Bruno Lemaitre thinks that science is falling victim to a crisis of narcissism, where reaching the top of the scientific hierarchy increasingly depends on a glittering media profile, publishing in trophy journals and cultivating a network of academic ‘frenemies’ who are treated as close allies until they become obstacles in the path to academic glory. No stranger to controversy he considers in part that scientists can be motivated by a need for attention and authority as well as curiosity about the natural world.
Greek mythology relates that non-scientist Narcissus was punished by Nemesis -
but admittedly, only after he had done some damage.