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Your definition of 'expert'

  1. May 2, 2006 #1
    Quite often, especially in science, I hear the term 'expert' used. Whether it be fashion expert, decorating expert, chemistry expert, bird flu expert, whatever it may be.

    So what is YOUR definition of 'expert'? What, in your opinion, qualifies a person to be an expert? Is the term used too loosely?

    Some people tell me "An expert is someone who knows EVERYTHING about their field of work". And other people might say other things.

    Just looking for some opinions, as it's something I've been thinking about. :bugeye:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2006 #2

    Danger

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    This was covered years ago in school. You have to break it down into its component parts to understand.
    x, as you are well aware, is an unknown. A 'spurt' is a drip under pressure. Put them together and...
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2006
  4. May 2, 2006 #3

    Astronuc

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    Usually an expert is one who has sufficient experience (both educational and professional) with a subject or related subject, particularly one who can provide a solution to a new problem which actually works, i.e. the solution correctly solves the problem.

    I do think sometimes the term is use rather loosely in the media. For that matter, the news media tend to be less rigourous than I would like.
     
  5. May 2, 2006 #4

    Pengwuino

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    My definition?

    Astronuc
     
  6. May 2, 2006 #5

    George Jones

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    Another list consisting of the empty set!

    Regards,
    George
     
  7. May 2, 2006 #6
    Hahaha! I have to agree!
     
  8. May 2, 2006 #7

    Astronuc

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    I'd have to say that the Mentors, Science Advisors and Homework helpers are experts.

    And I hope all of our PF student members become experts in their own right.

    Make us proud ladies and gentlemen! :cool:
     
  9. May 3, 2006 #8
    Except Evo, it seems.
     
  10. May 3, 2006 #9

    Curious3141

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    Why would you say that ?:uhh:
     
  11. May 3, 2006 #10

    Pengwuino

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    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: Evo is the awesome expert
     
  12. May 3, 2006 #11

    FredGarvin

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    I think one thing that is looked over in the definition is a very important oversight IMO. I have had the opportunity to work with people who I have no doubts are experts in their fields. One thing that I notice about them is that they do not pretend to know everything. The thing that sets them apart is that when they do not know something, they have the experience and knowledge to figure out what they need to know. They sit down and methodically go through their rituals for understanding the situation at hand. Watching someone go through that process and seeing how they go about things, to me, shows me that they are indeed an expert.
     
  13. May 3, 2006 #12

    J77

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    You can be an expert in a particular field, but eg. in the media, I think an 'expert' has a lot of knowledge about a general field.
     
  14. May 3, 2006 #13

    Astronuc

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    Definitely. Acknowledging that one does not know everything, but being able to understand and offer an insightful educated guess, or even asking a meaningful question is the mark of an expert.

    Conversely, I have seen people touted as experts in one area in which they have no direct experience, and from their testimony, clearly do not understand the subject area for which they are giving testimony. :grumpy:
     
  15. May 3, 2006 #14

    Astronuc

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    :mad:
    Evo has demonstrated her expertise in several areas, particularly data networks.
     
  16. May 3, 2006 #15

    Danger

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    And given the skill with which she moderates this forum, I suspect that she's had extensive training as a zookeeper.
     
  17. May 3, 2006 #16

    brewnog

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    Danger, danger, you got it all wrong. Well, half of it.

    Ex - meaning a "has been"
    Spurt - a drip under pressure.
     
  18. May 3, 2006 #17

    George Jones

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    I agree with you and Astronuc, and this is what I meant by my somewhat crypic comment.

    Even an expert can learn more by doing, by reading, by talking to another person, by ..., and even an expert should be able to acknowlegde ignorance in their field of expertise.

    Regards,
    George
     
  19. May 3, 2006 #18

    brewnog

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    Get back in your cage, monkeyboy.
     
  20. May 3, 2006 #19

    Danger

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    Fine. I'll just sit here quietly and throw **** at the toursits.
     
  21. May 3, 2006 #20

    Evo

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    Yes, I'm actually a designated SME (subject matter expert) in Wide Area Networks, as unbelievable as that seems. :tongue:
     
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