Amongst recent high-profile bullying and (sexual) harassment scandals in academia, many have involved perpetrators who are ‘star academics’, yet had records of bullying and multiple complaints over many years1. People often believe that these scientists are bullies despite being star academics. Their misbehaviours are attributed to an unfortunate decoupling between being a good scientist and being a decent person. However, academics who have experienced bullying often describe patterns that suggest a different explanation entirely: bullying is a means for mediocre scientists to rise to the top. Some star academics reached their position because they are bullies, not in spite of it.
(PDF) How bullying becomes a career tool. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/358433526_How_bullying_becomes_a_career_tool [accessed Dec 13 2022].