I think Athenian has a very valid point. If you wish to move up in any field, even science, being able to foster useful connections is a highly logical choice. Such that being social is the more logical thing to do, though it may go against one's inherent tendencies.
Remember, I say this being probably as introverted as yourself and preferring to work alone. Working as an artist is just as "unsocial" as working in a lab doing research or going out in the field to examine sediments. But at some point, the need to interface with people effectively and essentially appear "social" is vital in getting anything done or making any kind of livable income. It just comes with the territory.