The late realizer; There those of us who very late in higher education, later during their career or even later still when nearing retirement that they actually have a deep interest or love towards science and research. In such a situation if they aren’t rich it is exceedingly difficult to change ones course in life. To retrain ones skills, to put aside potentially years of effort in another domain of study. There are the issues of age, status, children all of which can be factors which make it hard to justify the change.
Many companies nowadays allow for sabbaticals or prolonged breaks. If your company doesn’t allow this one could consider that a period within the community will leave with more experience than when you entered. The opportunity to join the community should never be taken away from an individual, although due to size constraints and numbers of members there might be a waiting list. An alternative might be a layperson position where one is actively involved with helping the community while remaining in their current position.
The community exists to educate, to improve, to research, to develop. Thus for those looking to forge a new path in the sciences, research or technology it is a logical place to come. There is no idea of necessary entry requirements per se and the only immediate issue might be life obligations that continue while you are involved (i.e. bills, accommodation, e.t.c.).