The study, by David Blau and Bruce Weinberg, both professors of economics at Ohio State University, found that the average age of employed scientists increased from 45 in 1993 to nearly 49 in 2010. Scientists aged faster than the U.S. work force in general, and across fields — even newer ones, such as computer and information science. The study includes those natural and social science, health and engineering degrees.
The trend will only continue, with the average scientist’s age increasing by an additional 2.3 years within the near future, without intervention, according to a model included in the study.
I found this sentence illuminating:
Still, McDowell said he wouldn’t want to bring back mandatory retirement for professors.
Here is the study, here is the story, with some useful visuals as well. As the article notes, even if older scientists are still productive, this can skew or limit the incentives for younger scientists and limit their creativity.