The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Thursday, March 10, 2011 an academic database. is an academic database compiling a summary of the academic careers of, as of now, 391,270 academics. This is quite a significant number.

Yesterday, I opened an account on and uploaded my recent achievements at conferences, published journal articles and so on. The most interesting feature, for me, was a little ranking system. Everyone on is ranked according to their productivity: the more productive you are, as an academic, the higher your ranking (giving a lower number, of course). After uploading 9 achievements in academia, I am ranked at 17,786 out of 391,270 academics. I found that placing astonishing. You see what it means is that, although I have only been working at HELP University College for a year, as a researcher in Psychology, my achievements in that period place me in the top 4.5% of all academics on this database, FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT. That can mean only one thing: many academics do not publish much, in their careers. Perhaps their energies are consumed almost entirely by teaching, or perhaps they don’t have much to say. The fact that one year of output from me, is enough to put me in the top 4.5% of all academics, on this database, for lifetime achievement is quite something. That tells me that, though I think I have barely begun to do what I hope to do, I am actually quite productive, relatively speaking.

Now, the sample size of this database is rather large, at almost 400,000 academics. So, it seems fair to assume that it is a reasonable representation of what is happening out in academia, in general (though perhaps some of the much older academics, who might be avoiding the internet, won’t be on it). It is heartening, therefore, to realize that I am a relatively productive researcher…in fact, very much so, given that in one year, I have put myself in the top 4.5% of lifetime output.

It will be interesting to see how high I can climb in those rankings, in the months and years ahead. I will make a point of uploading my achievements and see how far I get. One point though that bothers me about its internal search engine doesn’t appear to be very good. My listing appears on Google, but it cannot be found in relevant searches on itself. Quite simply, in all searches today, I couldn’t find myself at all, on it. Yet, if I go to Google, I can link to my page. So, in terms of technology, has a way to go, I think.
Anyway, if you are curious about what I am getting up to in my research, you can pop over to my page at, and have a read. I will try to keep it up to date. Thanks.

The link is here:

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To learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 7 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:59 AM 


Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Hi Fox.

It seems to me, that you are unaware just how long it takes to get an impact factor assigned. The minimum time is three years (three FULL years are required). The Elsevier journal you refer to, is just two years old. It will get its own impact factor assessment, probably in two years time, when three full years would have passed.

As for Philica: you do know, I hope, that you have to be an academic working at a University or research institute to be able to post articles? It is not as you seem to believe.

I would advise patience. I have quite a few articles under preparation, which shall be submitted to journals (a wide variety) in the coming year.


12:42 AM  

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