What's with this "We physicists" stuff? I know people have joked about this before on this site, but still, everytime I hear it, I cringe. I don't understand the psychology of this. I mean, I'm sitting down just a short while ago, having a nice, informal virtual dialog with my friend Sean Carroll, when all of a sudden he starts talking about "we physicists!" I was just, uhhh, speechless. So much so that I lost track of what he was saying for a while. When I started getting back into the conversation, sure enough, he did it again! Check it out.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSLGaUQRWHg You know, I'd expect this from Michio Kaku, Brian Cox, or one of those other pop physicists. But Sean Carroll? What's going on here? The reason I'm bringing this up is that I don't hear this kind of identity crisis from speakers in other scientific disciplines. I'm a biologist, I would never dare say the phrase "we biologists" when I'm giving a talk at a neuroscience conference. I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard someone say "we biologists." I don't think I've heard anyone say, "we genetists" think such and such about so and so. either. "we chemists," "we anthropologists," etc. You fill in the discipline of choice. Again, what's going on with these guys? Is it case a of insecurity? Too risky to say that "I think this, or I think that?" Much safer to dilute the responsibility to everyone in the field? "We physicists assert so and so! (and if that turns out to be wrong please blame all the other guys first before you get to me)" I don't get it. Or maybe it's just some kind of meme virus that has spread through the pop physics community, perhaps incubated years ago when Michio caughed up the seminal "we physicists" phrase on TV. What do you think? And just for fun, I dare you guys to find a clip where some speaker says "we biologists, chemists, etc." I'll take anything. That would be fun to see.