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Are engineers with a Phd scientists ?

  1. Aug 26, 2007 #1
    Just wanted to know if PhDs with engineering background still remain engineers or can also be called scientists. I know the distinction between professionals at that level of research is kind of vague. But is it a norm to call engineers with PhD, scientists ?
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2007 #2

    radou

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    What ???

    (Damn, it's one of these situations where I miss caps lock.)
     
  4. Aug 26, 2007 #3

    Danger

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    As far as I'm concerned, anyone who approaches a situation with a logical mindset and a desire to learn the truth is a 'scientist'. It's not a professional term; rather a character trait. By that definition, all engineers are scientists even before they take their formal education. (Of course, I just use that definition so that I can consider my uneducated self a scientist.)
     
  5. Aug 26, 2007 #4
    desire to learn the truth? :confused: they just want to find a solution to a problem.
     
  6. Aug 26, 2007 #5

    Danger

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    Your definition is a sub-set of mine, at least by the way that I think.
     
  7. Aug 26, 2007 #6
    I would like to know whether it is true in a more professional setting.
     
  8. Aug 26, 2007 #7
  9. Aug 26, 2007 #8

    mgb_phys

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    I am a physicist with a PhD working as an engineer. I now live in Canada and I would love to call myself an engineer but I can't because I didn't do an engineering degree.

    Back in the UK you wouldn't call yourself and engineer because that means someone who fixes your washing machine! Of course scientist means someone who experiments on animals - so you can't win!
     
  10. Aug 26, 2007 #9

    Danger

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    The only objection that I have to your demurment is that it would prevent me from considering myself a scientist because I've never published anything except for an 'amateur science' article on black holes in the local paper almost 30 years ago.
    This whole thing did bring up a point of perplexity that I never thought of before. How does the scientific community define a 'peer-reviewed journal'? I know that the commonly accepted version would be something like 'Nature' or 'The New England Journal of Medicine', but where is the line drawn? You could, for instance, have a bunch of San Francisco dock workers start a journal. If one of them writes an article about quantum chromodynamics in it, stating that colour charge is carried by Smarties, and the rest agree to publish it, it's been 'peer reviewed'.
     
  11. Aug 26, 2007 #10

    radou

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    I'll be short again; *just*???
     
  12. Aug 26, 2007 #11

    russ_watters

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    Well.... what does it say on an engineering degree?
     
  13. Aug 26, 2007 #12

    Monique

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    I'm an engineer, but the Dutch name comes from the Latin ingenium. The English term comes from the word engine. In my case it would mean "an intellectual who uses his/her scientific knowledge to solve practical problems", the other meaning is "a person trained and skilled in the design, construction, and use of engines or machines, or in any of various branches of engineering". I wouldn't say the latter is a scientist, is an architect a scientist?
     
  14. Aug 26, 2007 #13
    I don't think it's conventional to call engineers "scientists".
     
  15. Aug 26, 2007 #14
    What's the term for what we call an "engineer" then?
     
  16. Aug 26, 2007 #15
    I think you are taking the generalization to its extreme. Your definition is largely philosophical, or even religious for that matter. All endeavors that search for something will end up being a subset of your definition in the larger context.
     
  17. Aug 26, 2007 #16

    radou

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    Anyone with a PhD is a scientist, by definition. OK, not just *anyone*, but heck, you know what I mean, let's not play dumb. It's as simple as that. If you're doing any kind of research in any area, you're a scientist.
     
  18. Aug 26, 2007 #17

    Gokul43201

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    I would consider only a very tiny subset of engineers (with PhDs) as scientists. An engineer working on fundamental questions in fluid dynamics would be called a scientist, but not one that has developed a new class of tunnel-diodes.
     
  19. Aug 26, 2007 #18
    An interesting paragraph from Wiki

     
  20. Aug 26, 2007 #19

    mgb_phys

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    Science has a fairly low profile in the UK - the last time it had any spot light was probably in the 60s and that white haired labcoat boffin is still the main image.
    Explaining that you're an engineer and build oil refineries not fix appliances or that you are a chemist and don't just sell aspirin is hard.

    Germany and Canada both have engineer as an official title like doctor (ie. MD) and you can only call yourself that if you are the equivalent of a practising chartered engineer, I don't know if this raises the standard of the profession in the eyes of the public.
     
  21. Aug 26, 2007 #20
    are you being sarcastic or is this for real ? If it is, then I must say, wow !!
     
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