I came along this sobering thought- does Radiation Oncology also progresses as “one funeral at a time”?
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. . . . An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with the ideas from the beginning: another instance of the fact that the future lies with the youth.
— Max Planck, Scientific autobiography, 1950, p. 33, 97
Could this be related to “academic gatekeeping” too? I think it does offer food for thought, however, sombre it may be!