Kelvin or Hilbert-space?

Are we using the wrong metrics?

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he would never be caught.

Lord Kelvin

One can measure the importance of a scientific work by the number of earlier publications rendered superfluous by it.

David Hilbert

In the UK there is an obsession with metrics. How would we do if we were measured on the Kelvin scale as alluded to above, or in Hilbert-space?

There is a very real danger of encouraging game-playing, rule bending and other types of shenanigans. We risk doing Lidl science where we pile ’em high like fast-moving consumer goods. We do not do Waitrose or Fortnum and Masons science.

This obsession with counting shit, is detrimental. It leads to short-term thinking and a quick fix mentality.


How would you measure up on the Kelvin scale?