“Productive anxiety is the competitive anxiety that we all have as scientists—worrying that you will get scooped on your next paper, or that someone else is working harder than you.
Unproductive anxiety revolves around questions such as, “Am I going to get a paycheck? Am I going to be able to feed my kids? Am I going to have a job in five years?”
Those are the kinds of things that people shouldn’t have to worry about when they have studied for a dozen years to get an advanced degree to pursue science.
Scientific Director, Mass General Research Institute