Good looking, sociable people don’t make good scientists, according to popular stereotypes.
This is one of the findings of an interesting new study of how scientists are perceived, from British researchers Ana I. Gheorghiu and colleagues.
Gheorghiu et al. took 616 pictures of scientists, which they downloaded from the faculty pages at various universities. They gave the portraits to two sets of raters. The first group were asked to rate the attractiveness of the portraits and to say whether they appeared competent, intelligent, etc. A second set of raters were asked whether they thought the person pictured was a good scientist.