Honorary Doctorates?

Cyres

Well-Known Member
I too note Dr May will be co presenter. I doubt predation by badgers in the rural environment will be mentioned. In 5 years of very regular thermal use I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of free ranging hedgehogs I have seen. However inside the enclosure on one of my free range egg units hedgehogs are abundant nothing to see 4 or five bumbling arround at any one time. Young escapees dont seem to live very long if the venture out through the weldmesh fence. I wonder why, very few foxs but issues with brock continually trying to dig in under the fence.

I bet our impartial BBC will carefully avoid including this fact.

D
 

Cootmeurer

Well-Known Member
Dr. Brian May was a PhD student prior to the formation of Queen, and then after Mercury's death went back and did indeed complete all requirements for the award of his degree. Nothing honorary about it. Since then I believe he has been named Chancellor or something equivalent to at least one major university - so he is quite appropriately referred to as Doctor.

However, then Honorary degree, at as practiced here, seems to be awarded in two very distinctly different manners. The first is a thank you for being a very public face or a public financier of a university or college. A prime example is the now jailed comedian Bill Cosby. He was awarded a EdD (Doctor of Education) by his alma mater for being their most notable alumni. This sort of honorary degree is also often withdrawn when the awardee is publicly disgraced.

The second type of honor is when a person is recognized to have truly advanced an area of study, but without checking the boxes of education. An example of this is the guy (can't remember his name, Kane something) that was the inventor of the first digital audio. As I remember the details he was in a graduate program in electrical or computer engineering and had his breakthrough and was roundly castigated for wasting time on something of no importance. He was either kicked out or quit - went on to perfect it and then years later the same university (but younger faculty ) called him back and awarded him his honorary degree. Same has been done with people like Ed Land (Mr. Polaroid) and others. Not all brilliant discovery resides in ivory towers and sometimes those ivory towers are wise enough to admit and publicly recognize that.
 

Dr.T.

Active Member
Heym SR20 pretty much nailed it on the head.

Just to add that:
- PhDs can (in principle) be awarded for all subjects, ranging from art to law to biotechnology.

- the term "doctor" applies to medical doctors (who are not consultants); PhDs; and to those awarded honorary doctorates. A number of my medical doctor friends also have PhDs, but are referred to simply as "doctor" (as compared to Germany, where they're referred to as double doctor).

- other than asking "what are you a doctor of?" you can only rely on context and common sense... if you're laying on a bed with their finger up your Khyber Pass, the the answer *should* be obvious :)



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 doctorates to those who have made a major contribution to a particular subject over the course of their career.
 

potshotpat

Well-Known Member
Had a Doctor and a Butcher on a shoot I was involved with, we always used to say if either of them made a mistake one buried it the other had to sell it. :thumb:
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
I think that medical practitioners who are consultants in surgical specialities tend to drop the courtesy title 'Doctor' in favour of a non-academic one (Mr, Miss etc.) for historical (such practitioners historically didn't need MDs to practice), medico-policitical (physicians, or proper doctors, and surgeons, remain in many ways two different tribes), or inverted-snobbistic reasons.
Consultants in non-surgical specialities (essentially the various kinds of physician, but also some gynaecologists) retain the honorific 'Doctor'.

I think in Germany a medical practitioner is not referred to as 'Herr/Frau Doktor' unless they have a doctorate. AFAIK they'd be a double-doctor only if they had two doctorates as well as the medical degree.
 

ileso

Well-Known Member
an Honorary doctorate .. honoris causa. Is a mark of esteem awarded to any person by any university regardless of any previous studies.
If his doctorate is hororay then he hasnt passed any exam, its like a knighthood.

however, unlike the knoghthood and being called Sir, an honorary doctorate does not entitle one to being called Dr.
 

mchughcb

Well-Known Member
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."
Yes the german bit is true. If you have a PhD and do military service the drill sargent must call you herr dokter if you request it. Rather than an expletive. I heard a story from a german hunter this drove a drill Sargent almost insane so they transferred the graduate out. Good ole germans, sticklers for the rules.
 

Dr.T.

Active Member
Sticklers indeed!

Taking this to extremes, a German friend of mine from back in the PhD days (a proper doctorate, that is ;)), went back to Germany to add to his list of pre/post nomials (Dr [shall remain anonymous] PhD (Cantab) apparently wasn't enough). Sometime around now he'll have finished a medical degree with a sandwich PhD, so he'll be somewhere between a Doktor Doktor and a Doktor Doktor Doktor (depending on how you interpret Wiki***) - whatever floats your boat, I suppose.

Austrians are also sticklers for the rules, but they get their priorities right... they start off by introducing you as a hunter (PhD comes a distant second).


*** since writing this post, I checked with the Mrs (who, confusingly, is also a Dr), who knows more about these things than I do. It's Doktor Doktor Doktor (the *title* for medical doctors in Germany and Austria is "Dr" (as in the UK). The job "Arzt" is analogous to "GP").
 
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Dalua

Well-Known Member
(the *title* for medical doctors in Germany and Austria is "Dr" (as in the UK). The job "Arzt" is analogous to "GP").
AFAIK the title for medical pracitioners in Germany is 'Herr' or 'Frau' depending on their sex. Likewise their job is called 'Arzt' or 'Aerztin'.

If they are indeed a medical doctor, meaning they have a doctorate as well as being a medical practitioner, then their title is 'Herr/Frau Doktor'.

I've no idea how it (or anything else, for that matter!) works in Austria, but the word 'Arzt' as part of the description for medical practitioners of many disciplines, excluding some surgical specialists, and psychiatrists.
 

Sharpie

Well-Known Member
I got my BSc by the time I was 9 years old! (Bronze Swimming Certificate) :)
I have one too, my first qualification, and the Bronze Medallion to go with it. Do they still teach swimming at school nowadays ?

Diving for a rubber brick, swimming a length underwater, rescuing a compliant person using backstroke and cupping their chin, together with how to subdue them if they panic and even break away (knee in the groin etc.)

Nope, I'd be surprised if that's still taught.

Qualified me for a holiday job supervising a public swimming pool though, back in the day.
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
for a rubber brick, swimming a length underwater, rescuing a compliant person using backstroke and cupping their chin, together with how to subdue them if they panic and even break away (knee in the groin etc.)
I vaguely remember having to do some or all of these things in pyjamas, too?
 

Sharpie

Well-Known Member
I vaguely remember having to do some or all of these things in pyjamas, too?
Yes, the pyjamas too. Of course our emergency services aren't supposed to even try nowadays, risk assessment etc. Fortunately some still will have a go, though expect to be disciplined later.

Or wait for someone qualified to arrive later to deal with the body.
 

potshotpat

Well-Known Member
Yes, the pyjamas too. Of course our emergency services aren't supposed to even try nowadays, risk assessment etc. Fortunately some still will have a go, though expect to be disciplined later.

Or wait for someone qualified to arrive later to deal with the body.
Like a Doctor. ;)
 

old keeper

Well-Known Member
I've got no academic awards whatsoever but having lived my whole life in the countryside involved with either keepering or farming and with a deep love of our nature. I don't need any fancy titles to know that badgers have removed vast numbers of hedgehogs from the country. In an area where once they were common, I haven't seen one for a couple of years. However, before then I found a lot of hedgehog skins turned inside out, could that be some unknown disease perhaps, or possibly, just possibly the work of badgers?
 

Dr.T.

Active Member
AFAIK the title for medical pracitioners in Germany is 'Herr' or 'Frau' depending on their sex. Likewise their job is called 'Arzt' or 'Aerztin'.

If they are indeed a medical doctor, meaning they have a doctorate as well as being a medical practitioner, then their title is 'Herr/Frau Doktor'.

I've no idea how it (or anything else, for that matter!) works in Austria, but the word 'Arzt' as part of the description for medical practitioners of many disciplines, excluding some surgical specialists, and psychiatrists.

Interesting! My Austrian wife's understanding is that a German or Austrian general practitioner would normally be referred to as 'Herr Doktor' (if male), irrespective of whether they have a PhD/doctorate. To call them Herr Arzt would be like calling a UK GP 'Mr General practitioner'.

As far as I'm aware, UK medical 'doctors' don't actually hold a 'doctorate' (unless they've also done a PhD) - they have a medical degree, but can nevertheless use the title 'Doctor'. I think the same applies for Germany, but couldn't say for sure.
 

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