======= Date Modified 21 Oct 2012 17:05:10 =======
I was listening to this conference and during the Q&A, this particular audience was asking a question, and said he knows X, and "he has a PhD" in a joking manner - the audience didn't laugh though.
Well, I know he deserves the PhD because he did do and passes it, but is there a need to mention that? Maybe it's just me, but that statement rubs me the wrong way. It seems to me that the person mentions it so the he could put 'more worth' to his statement or argument.
There's another seminar that I went to and during the introduction, he mentioned the he has a PhD and smile at us, as if waiting for some "reaction" from us.
Is this arrogance or it's just me lol
======= Date Modified 22 Oct 2012 05:38:10 =======
I would similarly assume that the vast majority of people within academic conferences would have PhDs, so this persons comment of 'I have a PhD' probably raised some eyebrows! Implying that someone is an expert in something because they have a PhD in a specific area always raises question marks for me as my PhD has taught me the importance of subjectivity and limitations of peoples work (including my own) and probably links to Popper's arguments of falsification.
Ok, I'm still waiting for examiners decision following a resubmission and I don't have a PhD. But, thinking about this more generally, this kind of question/issue is making me reflect on usage of doctor or openly declaring 'I'm a Doctor' (latter of which I would never say as I don't hold a doctorate!). I noticed that some friends who completed PhDs and completed professional doctorates seldom posted things like 'I'm a doctor' on facebook etc or did not mention passing vivas etc etc and at the time, I wondered why and wondered if this was a sign of humbleness or just because they don't post things like that on social networking sites.
For me, if I get it, I would like to shout it from the roof tops as I've had such a horrendous journey. But, seeing that others sometimes hide their achievements and considering these points, I'm wondering if others may view me as 'arrogant', 'egotistical' or 'showing off' if on the chance I'm successful I declared my success.
Don't get me wrong, I certainly would not say at a conference that because of a PhD, this makes an argument more significant or valued, but this sort of questioning and issue does make me think about others (ie non graduates) may perceive someone with a PhD or encounter someone who is determined to announce their doctor status.
Just a thought........
I wonder why it was mentioned at all. Like others have said, most people at academic conferences like that have PhDs anyway, so it's hardly unusual, and saying it makes the speaker look like a twat! Perhaps they were newly-PhD'd and still revelling in it, and didn't realise what a bad impression they would give highlighting it?
I'm curious about Pineapple's comments about a doctorate though. A clinical doctorate is different from a PhD, yes, but most PhDs are doctorates. So, for example, I am perfectly justified in describing my PhD as a doctorate.
I won't claim to be a Dr in general life though. Apart from anything else it causes confusion, with people assuming you are a medical doctor. Though I did change my title with the bank, for added ID with my title on it, since I'm an unaffiliated post-doc.
======= Date Modified 22 Oct 2012 13:08:44 =======
======= Date Modified 22 Oct 2012 13:05:15 =======
I have on online example here: http://www.infoq.com/presentations/liskov-power-of-abstraction
Look at 1:04:20.
Well, basically, the speaker is lovely (she's very sweet). During this time slot someone asked her a question and, well, look at 1:04:15.
He agreed on something, then he went to the thing that he didn't agree and went on to state the "has a PhD on it". You could hear some people giggled when he made the statement; not as loud as some of the other prior jokes, and after jokes, but some people did so it's not a hostile 'statement' to be making.
What do you think?
I think he was making a point that he's research is in that particular domain, however, would the way he puts it raises some eyebrows?
======= Date Modified 23 Oct 2012 11:33:26 =======
I agree it sounds a bit crass to say one has a PhD. But I wonder to what extent it is cultural. If someone said I have this industrial management experience at X prestigious company, people would likely accept it and say yeah that's interesting in the light of the conference. Somehow academic experience is not really rated in the same way. In America compared to UK I think a PhD is sometimes seen as a more useful qualification to carry credibility outside of academia - e.g. it's regularly used as a sign of credibility for a rent a quote in popular media shows. I think a more useful way of stating the relevance of the PhD is to say "I've spent X years researching this topic we're discussing and found out Y".
======= Date Modified 23 Oct 2012 12:26:32 =======
Beefy: I think associations with top universities are sometimes linked to elitism in the public's mind. But frankly I think in general the PhD is just seen as being a superfluous, geeky and not a meaningful qualification or status symbol outside of academia rather than elitist as such. The fact you see the term PhD being used in the media as being pointless suggests exactly the kind of values and attitudes that are prevalent in the UK.
Well Ian, of course you don't need to mention it was your thesis when you mention research you've done, but why must you avoid mentioning it? After all. your thesis is probably going to be your largest project, so it does have some relevance. Plus a PhD is generally subject to more scrutiny than other projects.
It's more HOW you present the fact of having a PhD that makes the difference, not that you mention you have a PhD at all.
As someone else noted, not all PhDs are the same, and the public have a nose for bullshit.
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