I’m sitting in the university cafe, playing with my phone, when my graduate-student advisee appears. My heart begins pounding wildly as she weaves through the tables. She’s going to want my advice on something. Is this the moment when I’ll be revealed as a know-nothing?
Imposter syndrome is, by now, a well-known term used to describe that feeling many scholars get that we are frauds in our particular field and about to be exposed at any moment. This "syndrome" has been known to affect researchers of all ages and ranks, from graduate students to department chairs. At its mildest, impostor syndrome can entail persistent and discomforting
feelings of self-doubt. At its worst, it can cripple careers.