Here, open access:
We examine how the premature death of eminent life scientists alters the vitality of their fields. While the flow of articles by collaborators into affected fields decreases after the death of a star scientist, the flow of articles by non-collaborators increases markedly. This surge in contributions from outsiders draws upon a different scientific corpus and is disproportionately likely to be highly cited. While outsiders appear reluctant to challenge leadership within a field when the star is alive, the loss of a luminary provides an opportunity for fields to evolve in new directions that advance the frontier of knowledge.Azoulay, Pierre, Christian Fons-Rosen, and Joshua S. Graff Zivin. 2019. “Does Science Advance One Funeral at a Time?” American Economic Review, 109 (8): 2889-2920.
So, yes. With luck, retirement works the same way. Many Darwinians are looking kind of like they could use a break and there is lots to research.