Leaving aside the fact that the term scientific career is a bit of an oxymoron, I propose to show how considering the distribution of alpine flora can help guide your career choices. When Jaccard first headed for the alps to count edelweiss, little did he know he would make a stunning discovery that would change the face of cheminformatics forever - the Tanimoto coefficient. Here I show how to extend this coefficient to career path planning.
Simply put, you should choose your next institution based on whether it has a high Tanimoto coefficient with your current. Let's take my career as an example and show how this works:
1997-2001 University College Galway, UCG
2001-2004 Dublin City University, DCU (Tanimoto coefficient of 2/4 = 0.5)
2004-2005 University College Dublin, UCD (3/3 = 1.0)
2005-2006 Unilever Centre Cambridge, UCC (2/4 = 0.5)
2006-2009 Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, CCDC (2/5 = 0.4)
2009- University College Cork, UCC (2/5 = 0.4)
As with any career there were some highs (Tanimoto of 1.0) and some lows (values of 0.4). Now the question is, what about my next move?
Notes: UCG is now NUIG (National University of Ireland, Galway).