A modest question: Should we abolish the PhD degree?

Meltsner, Kenneth Kenneth.Meltsner@ca.com
Wed, 29 Aug 2001 10:43:02 -0400

A far better scientist than I once told me (paraphrased due to fuzzy memory):

"You get your bachelor's when you can use the scientific literature.

"You get your master's when you can contribute to the scientific literature.

"You get your doctorate when you no longer trust the scientific literature."

[He did some excellent work when we were at GE R&D that showed the ability of molecular simulation to predict mechanical properties, as demonstrated by a big project at Lawrence Livermore, was purely coincidental -- they had either gotten lucky or were very selective as to their published results.  Science needs cynics at least as much as it needs believers.]

Ken "Over-qualified, and proud of it" Meltsner [MIT PhD. '88, Metallurgy]