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Discussion » Questions » Education » Have you known anyone to earn degrees in fields like astrophysics, biochemistry, biophysics, engineering physics, chemical engineering, etc?

Have you known anyone to earn degrees in fields like astrophysics, biochemistry, biophysics, engineering physics, chemical engineering, etc?

I have known a few, and they have been brilliant people, some with masters and doctorates. Throw in architecture, animal breeding and genetics, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, and veterinary medicine as well. Having majored in history, I have no idea how anyone can wrap their minds around such esoteric bodies of knowledge!

Posted - December 1, 2020

Responses


  • 10300
    Just about the only people I have ever known are redneck laborers and trades people. Coming from a rural farming community nobody ever seemed to have much incentive to go for higher education.
      December 1, 2020 11:19 PM MST
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  • 42208

     

      I only know sandwich-makers and harem applicants. I’m happy. 

    ~

      December 1, 2020 11:54 PM MST
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  • 35939
    All of the professors in college that I knew in those fields. My son has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry and chemical engineering.
      December 2, 2020 7:38 AM MST
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  • 8983
    And where could all those brains have possibly come from?
      December 2, 2020 7:54 AM MST
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  • 42208

      Hey, wait . . .
    ~
      December 2, 2020 8:00 AM MST
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  • 35939
    All those degrees and he is a stay-at-home dad. Go figure.
      December 2, 2020 11:10 AM MST
    2

  • 42208

     

      For decades, hundreds of thousands of women have done the exact same thing. 

    ~

      December 2, 2020 11:19 PM MST
    1

  • 35939
    His wife works from home...even before the virus.
      December 3, 2020 7:43 AM MST
    0

  • 4676
    Yes.
    A friend, Paul Taylor, worked in astrophysics at MIT for ten years. When he realised the seriousness of climate change, he quit his job to travel the USA lecturing and educating on global warming. He's now retired and living near us here in Australia.
    Another friend, Grant Perinot, is an environmental scientist. He's currently studying the water table under Springbrook and the Gold Coast to try to understand the relationship between use of boor water and natural recharge from rainfall.
    Another is a botanist documenting our unique rainforest plants.
    Another is a koala expert helping to assist in the development of breeding programs to save the species.
    Another is a retired criminal psychologist who contributed a great deal to his field and has just published an anthology of his studies.

    But these relationships have developed purely by good fortune and chance.
    I have not had anything like the access to such marvellous minds as Element has.

    Stu, I believe you'd have a better idea than most about how people acquire their unique skills.

    How?
    Most sciences have the prerequisite of high skills in maths. The undergrad program introduces students to the basics within a specific discipline; it teaches the history and overview of the field,  the jargon, methods of research, analysis and cross checking. The masters program teaches supervised but independent research into a specific sub area. The doctoral level enables the person to create new knowledge - after which they are skilled enough to become scientists or professionals.

    They are bright, no question about it. I'd guess they operate at around 132 IQ or above.
      December 2, 2020 11:44 AM MST
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  • 8983
    I brought up the question because I was thinking about people I knew from attending college at a large research university, Cornell, which is unique for the visionary founder's motto back in 1865: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study." It's one of the few colleges never to restrict admission to, for example, men only or members of one religious denomination only. The "any person, any study" paradigm has resulted in the growth of a very large network of campuses, faculty, and student body that can, in fact, work toward degrees in all the fields I mentioned plus myriad others as diverse as hotel/hospitality management, animal husbandry, plant sciences, industrial design, urban and regional planning, labor relations, and on and on.

    As a liberal arts student taking lots of classes in subjects like history, economics, government, psychology, and English, I didn't have the brain power to go into those hardcore fields, but I greatly admired those who did.
      December 2, 2020 12:38 PM MST
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  • 4676
    I think of Cornell as one of the world's top universities.

    I'm curious, Stu, did you continue on to become a historian?

    If not, have you kept in touch with changes in how history is studied?

    Has your perspective on history been useful in your work?

    How does it impact the way you think about current affairs?
      December 2, 2020 6:00 PM MST
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  • 8983
    It certainly is a great school, and spending four years there was an amazing experience. I went on to get my MBA at another fairly famous university, and I am now a tax accountant in business for myself. The chief benefit of my education as far as my work is that it trained me well to think and use my mind.
      December 2, 2020 7:01 PM MST
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  • 42208

     

      Stu, in 1865, were black people allowed to attend Cornell? You didn’t mention race nor ethnicity.
    ~

      December 2, 2020 11:26 PM MST
    1

  • 8983
    Yes. Instruction actually began in 1868, and a William Bowler became the first black student in 1869.
      December 3, 2020 4:07 AM MST
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  • 42208

     

      Thank you for the information. 

    ~

      December 3, 2020 6:49 AM MST
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  • 4676
    I suspect you had a very well rounded education through your school years as well.

    My family's accountant used to say the thing he enjoyed most about his work was how you could get to know people via their relationship to money, that what and how they spend reveals their values and character. He always struck me as a wise man.

    I see the ability to think and research as one of the greatest blessings one can have in life.
    Unfortunately, not to have those skills is (IMO) as serious a disability as being blind or deaf. This post was edited by inky at December 2, 2020 11:24 PM MST
      December 2, 2020 7:10 PM MST
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  • 6736
    Nah. I don't know any Tony Stark types around these parts.
      December 3, 2020 7:46 AM MST
    1

  • 2951
    Very many of my friends hold degrees, some hold PhDs. Others are highly-skilled more vocationally. A few run their own businesses.

    My work has always been "shop-floor " level though as I have no degree and completed no apprenticeship. Most of my colleagues were skilled trades-people but I have also worked for companies designing and making high-grade, specialist electronic equipment where I was helping the designers test their prototypes.

    I used to envy all this brain-power, partly of course by seeing those friends clearly more highly-paid than I, but beyond that immediate level, for their learning and other abilities in the first place.
      February 6, 2021 3:38 PM MST
    0