Honorary Doctorates?

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
What significance is conferred on individuals by receiving an "Honorary" Doctorate? ... reason I wondered .. Bryan May the Badger fella, seems he is being introduced more regularly as "Doctor" Bryan May on tv sound bytes.
 

Millerich

Well-Known Member
He was an astrophysicist pre Queen. I thought he’d gone back to finish the studies he’d dropped out of when the music career took off.
 

Swedish

Well-Known Member
He has a PhD in Astrophysics (no mean feat) so is entitled to use the term I believe. Interesting man, great musician but unfortunately his conservation views are somewhat misguided, shame.
 

Basil H

Well-Known Member
He may have sorted out his Ph.D by now. However, that really does not make him "Dr." in everyday life. The term is commonly used in the academic trade, but when you are introduced to "Doctor Smith" socially you assume that Smith is a medic with M.B. Ch.B. or equivalent.
 

slider

Well-Known Member
He may have sorted out his Ph.D by now. However, that really does not make him "Dr." in everyday life. The term is commonly used in the academic trade, but when you are introduced to "Doctor Smith" socially you assume that Smith is a medic with M.B. Ch.B. or equivalent.
An ut it does make him a Doctor. It is in-correct to think that the only Doctors are Doctors of Medicine

Doctor is an academic title that originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning.[1] The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docēre Latin pronunciation: [dɔˈkeːrɛ] 'to teach'. It has been used as an academic title in Europe since the 13th century, when the first Doctorates were awarded at the University of Bologna and the University of Paris. Having become established in European universities, this usage spread around the world. Contracted "Dr" or "Dr.", it is used as a designation for a person who has obtained a Doctorate (e.g. PhD). In many parts of the world it is also used by medical practitioners, regardless of whether or not they hold a doctoral-level degree.
 
Last edited:

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Most docterates are post graduate degrees awarded after a period of fundamental research which is written up in 100,000 word thesis, which will cover a background literature and state of play review, development of hypothesis and then subsequent reasearch and findings. Of course this will vary from discipline to discipline. Most are done over a three to four year period, but many universites allow a longer period.

In some professions -notably the medical, but also engineering (on the continent) you are awarded title Dr, once you have completed your postgraduate professional training - which often includes research as welll. In the medical world when you become a consultant or a surgeon you go back to Mr, Mrs, Ms or Miss.

Many universities will award honoury docterates to those who have made a major contribution to a particular subject over the course of their career.
 

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
I was after the definition really, "conferred as an honour, without the usual requirements or functions. " will this mean it is a lesser "Doctorate"
 

Fadcode

Well-Known Member
He may have sorted out his Ph.D by now. However, that really does not make him "Dr." in everyday life. The term is commonly used in the academic trade, but when you are introduced to "Doctor Smith" socially you assume that Smith is a medic with M.B. Ch.B. or equivalent.
I think you have this the wrong way around, the term Doctor is actually an Academic title, as in DR Johnson of the dictionary fame, it was later used as a term to identify medical practitioners, for instance many dentists are referred to as doctors, but have only achieved a bachelor degree.
An Honorary Degree is usually bought, through an involvement or a financial donation(bribe), and should be thought of as such, meaningless.
 

Kalahari

Well-Known Member
Well, it makes him sound more important. The trouble is most people don't realise that his doctorate has nothing to do with animals or conservation and it is just a con to make him sound more believable.

David.
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
With all that hair everywhere he looks like a scarecrow. Probably been to see The Wizard of Oz and become a Doctor of Thinkology.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
With all that hair everywhere he looks like a scarecrow


Perhaps he could loan himself out at weekends to help farmers suffering pigeon problems to comply with the new GLs? As I think since Freddie died the band hasn't been as much in demand as once was? A couple of hours every Saturday, maybe, standing about in pea fields?
 

owdnorthener

Well-Known Member
He will be on Tv (chan 5) later this week in a program about Saving Britains Hedgehogs.
The ad I saw mentioned Dr Brian May ......... I do wonder if they will mention badgers ?
 

MattJ

Well-Known Member
I was after the definition really, "conferred as an honour, without the usual requirements or functions. " will this mean it is a lesser "Doctorate"
A honorary doctorate is often conferred as a way of honouring an individual's contributions to a specific field or to society in general and recipients are requested not to use the title 'Doctor'.
BM, however, has a PhD in Astrophysics from Imperial College, London and has the genuine article (like it or not), not an honorary degree; he is thus entitled to be called 'Doctor'.
By the way, further education is often characterised by the phrase "Learning more and more about less and less, until you know everything about nothing"!
 

potshotpat

Well-Known Member
What significance is conferred on individuals by receiving an "Honorary" Doctorate? ... reason I wondered .. Bryan May the Badger fella, seems he is being introduced more regularly as "Doctor" Bryan May on tv sound bytes.
I've just cracked open another can and then realised I'd read the thread wrong, I thought it said Brian had been Doctored. Cheers anyway . :doh:
 

Sharpie

Well-Known Member
What significance is conferred on individuals by receiving an "Honorary" Doctorate? ... reason I wondered .. Bryan May the Badger fella, seems he is being introduced more regularly as "Doctor" Bryan May on tv sound bytes.
Because he has a hard-earned genuine PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) from Imperial College, not some honorary title (which doesn't entitle you to call yourself a Dr.

He dropped out from his post-graduate studies there to pursue his guitar playing career for 30 years, but then returned and completed his thesis, which requires supervision, independent assessment. a viva, and publication. You don't get one by just going on a course and passing your exams, you have to have added to scientific knowledge, and be really bright.

There are reasons for having other opinions about the man (particularly his hairstyle), but you can't take this achievement from him. And he looked after Patrick Moore in his dotage, when he had run out of money, so he seems to have a good heart, despite some of his other views that get us riled up.

FWIW his studies related to:

"
Brian May's thesis examines the mysterious phenomenon knownas Zodiacal light, a misty diffuse cone of light that appears in the westernsky after sunset and in the eastern sky before sunrise. Casual observers, ifthey live under very dark rural skies, can best see the light two to threehours before sunrise as they look east, and many people have been fooled intoseeing it as the first sign of morning twilight. A Persian astronomer who livedaround the 12th century referred to it as "false dawn" in a poem.

Astronomers now know that Zodiacal light represents reflectedsunlight shining on scattered space debris clustered most densely near thesun. The millions of particles range in size from tiny asteroids tomicroscopic dust grains, and extend outward beyond the orbit of Mars.

May's work focuses on an instrument that recorded 250 scansof morning and evening Zodiacal light between 1971 and 1972. The Fabry-PerotSpectrometer is located at the Observatorio del Teide at Izana in Tenerife, thelargest of the Canary Islands."

"
The completed thesis appears as the book "A Survey ofRadial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud" (Springer and CanopusPublishing Ltd., 2008).
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my years playing guitar andrecording music with Queen, but it's extremely gratifying to see thepublication of my thesis," May said. "I've been fascinated withastronomy for years, and I was happy to finally complete my Ph.D. last year andrecord my studies of the Zodiacal Light in this book."
May officially received hisdoctorate on Aug. 24, 2007, from the Imperial College in London. He alsogained the appointmentof chancellor for Liverpool John Moores University in November of thatyear.
"
As for other Doctors, medics, that's just a courtesy title. Very few GPs are real doctors, though mine is, having gained a PhD in medical statistics after his initial studies. Neither are most consultants, even after they have served their time as "junior doctors" learning their skills on the job. Then they do not call themselves Doctors, just Mr. Ms. or Misses. It's their FRCS or similar that qualifies their practical skills, if you ask.

Once a GP has retired and given up their registration, as they mostly now do at 55 years, they would be wrong to expect to still be called Dr.

No more than you would expect to call your vet or dentist or pharmacist or senior nurse or psychologist a Doctor, even though they may have worked just as hard to gain their qualifications.

Whereas a genuine PhD is for life.

As is my Master of Science, though not my C.Eng unless I keep paying the fees. Those were gained through study, hard work, a project, examination, serving my time, but not necessarily original thinking.

Work at a high level in engineering in Germany and you will need a supposed doctorate, and expect to be addressed as "herr doktor".

A quote from Wikipedia, so it must be true:

"After at least six years of medical school, the students graduate with a final federal medical exam (Dritter Abschnitt der ärztlichen Prüfung). Graduates receive their license to practice medicine and the professional title of physician (Arzt). About 80% of them additionally obtain the academic MD-like degree Doctor of Medicine (Dr. Med.).[17] The corresponding "doctoral" dissertations are often written alongside undergraduate study. Obtaining the title is a practical necessity because many medical laypersons incorrectly assume that a doctorate is required for the practice of medicine. The European Research Council decided in 2010 that those Dr. med. doctorates do not meet the international standards of a PhD research degree."
 
Last edited:

vitalspark

Well-Known Member
No more than you would expect to call your vet or dentist or pharmacist or senior nurse or psychologist a Doctor
Veterinary surgeons have been permitted to use the title since 2015, in keeping with international practice, although my other half has never done so.
 

Sharpie

Well-Known Member
Well that's very odd. I've had a lot of dealings with Vets over the years and none of them ever claimed to be a doctor, nor ask to be addressed as such. If they had, I'd probably have run away, fast.

Different standards and ethical behaviour rules apply to vets vs. human "doctors", they are not even required to act in the best interests of the animal (that's not really a concept here). Find a good one who isn't just after your money, or the first question is "are you insured" and has a genuine interest in keeping your animal going and caring for it, then stick with them. And avoid the corporate takeovers who have snapped up most of the business, and incentivesed them, whilst keeping the local names.

Or hop across the channel and find real vets who are interested, will inspect, treat, and prepare your animal for the return journey, give advice and sell medication at sensible prices so you don't have to buy it from internet shops. It helps if you live within a few miles of a channel port of course.

Same applies to human treatment, but there are some more hurdles. Not sure how long my EHIC card will last.
 

Hayduke

Well-Known Member
The distinction is purely semantics.

One type of doctor makes you better. The other type has achieved five years of detailed navel gazing at one of our esteemed ivory towers. :lol:
 

Top