Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Only 29 Percent of Americans Have a College Degree

This is a rather curious article in of itself. But this part clearly shows that the perception of what physicists do is still clouded with misinformation.

I recently met a man with a PhD in physics. There's an accomplishment, wouldn't you say? A degree in upper level sciences - surely we need more like him! Actually, no, we don't. After the linear accelerator program died in the 1980s, the market for his skills dried up, and he retrained as a brain surgeon. Because he needed a job.

Maybe the writer is specifically referring to this particular person's area of specialization (it isn't clear). However, it is clear that she isn't aware this one fact:

that the largest fraction of practicing physicists are not in particle/high energy, but rather in condensed matter/material science, an area in which she DOES need more of if realizes how the conveniences that she enjoys came out of such fields.

And we haven't even factored in all the commissioned studies that have been produced indicating that our deterioration in scientific knowledge is putting the nation at risk.



Matt said...

Did you email her [the author] and let her know this? :)

ZapperZ said...

No, I haven't.

You're more than welcome to contact her, though. :)