At timing of completion of his Theory of Special Relativity, it is believed no more than 10% of all physicists understood Einstein’s proof.
Today, while kids in High School typically will not as yet understand Einstein’s proof, they understand essence of special relativity.
How exactly did this happen?
Well, first physicists attempted to convey essence of the proof to the rest 90% of their colleagues. Then they demanded understanding of the proof from PhD candidates in Physics.
Then, newly minted PhDs taught the concept to candidates for each of undergraduate or Masters degrees in Physics. Then, the concept was distilled, such that it could be understood by students in High School.
Once physicists began to demand understanding of the proof from PhD students, they raised the bar on skills that had to be acquired, and ability that had to be demonstrated if PhD students were to transform into PhD candidates.
First, physicists raised the bar on ability and skills required for obtaining of a PhD in Physics.
Upon arrival at their academic appointments, newly minted PhDs had to develop new pedagogy that facilitated communication of essence of special, and then general relativity to candidates for either of undergraduate or graduate degrees in Physics. Introduction of the new pedagogy demanded students learn new skills and develop new abilities. The next thing then that the discipline of Physics did?
Second, physicists raised the bar on ability and skills required for obtaining any of BSc., or MSc. in Physics.
Upon receipt of their BSc. or MSc. degrees, freshly minted graduands who chose to teach High School Physics developed new pedagogy for communication of essence of each of special or general relativity to their students. Well then, you already anticipate what comes next.
Third, physicists raised the bar on ability and skills, specific to Physics to be acquired in High School.
The conglomeration of all that spill down?
The Space Program and the Digital Age, both of which conferred glamor on discipline of Physics and its outgrowths — Computer Science and Computer Engineering.
The evidence is crystal clear. If an academic discipline seeks glamor status, it must arrive at some important general equilibrium truths that successively are passed down through the educational system.
When knowledge of those truths arrives at some thresholds, it will burst forth into new innovations that are pragmatic, enervating, and welfare improving for all of society. Then, the academic discipline will join up with Physicists as a glamorous discipline to which young minds aspire.
Turns out the path to glamor in academia runs through distilling of new important truths to all of society. The outcome? Glamor. The process? Dint of innovation, hard work, and resoluteness of the demand that the new truth be learned, that the new truth be mastered.
Clearly, if glamor is fruit, sweat — dint — is seed.