- Jan 6, 2017
Shouldn't upset anyone. Academics surely know that anyone who stays in school longer than the minimum needed to do something useful in society had better not expect any respect from said society. Some of the comments and 'doctor banter' related in this thread would do Sheldon proud. Don't they get it?I hope this doesn't upset anybody but the precious attitudes to academic titles has always amused me and kind of undermines the idea that scientists and academics are more rational than the riff raff. Many years ago I worked for British Antarctic Survey as a lowly ships engineer and remember firstly how bitchy some of the scientific crew could be about which of them was worthy of being in the officers lounge and dining room, and secondly how much more bitchy they could get about their titles. I regularly attend engineering conferences (or did before the unusual circumstances of the last couple of years) and one of the joys is watching the cat fights when someone's precious idea is challenged. And then there is the outrage towards anyone with lesser educational credentials who is paid more than them without considering skills or economic value. I used to work with a guy who was a real engineering snob (we were both doing engineering analysis for new warship designs) and he was properly outraged when I told him that in electricity generation I had issued purchase orders to pay welders over £5000 to do a single weld (this is 15 years ago). He really couldn't comprehend that if there's only one or two people anywhere with the approvals for a particular weld to a turbine, and which has a track record of passing the radiography exam every time and when each day a turbine is offline it is losing telephone number figures then those people can pretty much name their price. He went nuts when I told him to go and learn how to weld if it was so easy and he wanted to make more money.
My oldest and best friend is a PhD and professor in chemistry, and I remember in high school, him telling me that his dad is a janitor-handyman at the local university and told him that the academics are looked down on by everyone. His dad was a super nice guy and his comment reflected very badly on academics as a cohort.