I recall being a proud young academic about 1970; I had just received a research grant to build and study a scientific database, and I had joined CODATA. I was looking forward to the future in this new exciting discipline when the head of my department, an internationally known professor, advised me that data was “a low level activity” not suitable for an academic. I recall my dismay. What can we do to ensure that this does not happen again and that data science is universally recognized as a worthwhile academic activity? Incidentally, I did not take that advice, or I would not be writing this essay, but moved into computer science. I will use my experience to draw comparisons between the problems computer science had to become academically recognized and those faced by data science.