Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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Gali
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Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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Cornfed
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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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The reason science is hard for him is because he is a stupid affirmative action negro who wouldn't know science if it leapt up and bit him on his baboon ass.
Gali
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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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So there is hope for science deniers if even he can do it.

How to Make it Through Calculus (Neil deGrasse Tyson)
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Cornfed
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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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Gali wrote:
October 19th, 2021, 3:20 am
So there is hope for science deniers if even he can do it.
I guess one could always apply shoe polish and swallow some monkey glands.
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Winston
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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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Tyson is not even smart. He has no ideas of his own. All he does it parrot what he's been told. Carl Sagan was at least smarter and had ideas of his own. See his book "The Dragons of Eden".

If you wanna see how dumb Tyson is, see this video. It will make you laugh and ruin your impression of him. So be warned. He's actually dumber than you think.

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Gali
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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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If you do not like black you can go German. She is quite famous in her field.

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MrMan
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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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He's got a good voice and he's an animated speaker. It doesn't sound like he is generating any top notch academic research, but that doesn't mean he is stupid. You have to have some sort of intelligence to get a PhD from Columbia and to get a post-doc at Princeton.

I see he comments on a lot of topics he has little in-depth knowledge of. Why would he be an expert on religion, for example. He also talks about pop-science stuff like the possibility of warp drive.

Some people used to get their knowledge of science from science magazines. There are also documentaries. Top researchers with PhDs typically research topics that are 'an inch wide and a mile deep', becoming hyperspecialized in a certain area. If you are going to manage a museum, though, that isn't really the best way to go. Being a good speaker with a bit of charisma along with all the right educational credentials probably helps. Maybe his minority status helps some. He's interesting to listen to, even if he isn't saying that much. So he is one of the guys they go to to make the science documentaries.

It's probably a better life than reading those papers, dozens of pages of boring mathematical equations and having to write up those physics papers and contribute something new. Managing a museum sounds like a better life for most people.

I'm in another field, and I can do regressions, maybe validate surveys if I got into it, possibly structural equation modelling if I wanted to. But I am co-authoring a paper that has some pretty complicated econometrics type equations. It's not really my thing, but that is not my contribution. Managing a museum would probably better than single authoring papers like that, for me at least.

Bill Nye has a BS from Cornell and a bunch of honorary degrees. He's a mechanical engineer. I'd imagine some of the journalists who write up some of the half-accurate reports on scientific discoveries do not have enough education to know what they are writing about. At least this deGrasse dude has a Ph.D.
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Cornfed
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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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MrMan wrote:
October 25th, 2021, 7:24 pm
At least this deGrasse dude has a Ph.D.
If you are anything other than a white or East Asian man, all this proves is that you have sat in a chair for several years.
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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why Science Is Hard

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Cornfed wrote:
October 25th, 2021, 7:53 pm
MrMan wrote:
October 25th, 2021, 7:24 pm
At least this deGrasse dude has a Ph.D.
If you are anything other than a white or East Asian man, all this proves is that you have sat in a chair for several years.
I have not been to Cornell, but at any real, reputable university in the US, a Ph.D. is likely to require two years of in-depth study of the discipline (stacks of 30, 50, 70 page papers full of stats from peer reviewed journals) along with research methodology and maybe stats classes depending on the discipline. Physics may require more mathematical modelling than most fields, and seminars may depend on skills picked up in coursework in undergraduate or masters coursework.

After one year, there may be a qualifying exam which covers material already learned in previous courses. After two years, there may be a comprehensive exam which is even more intense. For me, it involved spending a very long work week, maybe 70 or 80 hours, locked in a room typing two answer three questions. The result of the questions were three papers. If I collected data, some of this might be useful as literature review for a published paper, but I did not pursue any of those as research questions. I have heard of students writing a paper for qualifying exams. For me, I had to memorize the author and year of major papers in the subject areas I was studying and what their contribution was. These papers could be 50 pages long and have a lot of detailed information.

The papers PhD students study aren't easily comprehensible. The math and theory can be quite involved. Some of them read like gobbledygook.

After the passing comps, the Ph.D. student may be qualified to teach undergrads. He is supposed to do some preliminary research and write up a dissertation proposal. That may take a year. It could take less or longer. Then he presents that to a committee of faculty, maybe five or so members who vote on whether to approve the proposal. It will need to contribute something new to the literature-- to the literature which may seem like a near infinite number of peer-reviewed academic papers. After this is approved, the student is not a Ph.D. candidate. Then the Ph.D. Candidate has to write the dissertation with the chair of his dissertation committee (known in some fields as major professor, advisor, or by other titles.)

Maybe the Ph.D. candidate gets done in a year or two, finishing data collection, if necessary, researching relevant literature and writing something new that contributes to the literature. If he presents and the committee approves, this is usually conditional on a bunch of changes. Suggestions for changes from one committee member to another may not agree with each other. If they all sign off on it, then he fills out the university paperwork and pays the fees and gets a Ph.D. In my program, you left the room for them to discuss and vote, and when you come back in, they address you as Dr. so and so, so you know you earned your Ph.D. Then you do the changes to the dissertation, file to graduate, etc.

This is all a long, arduous process, often including late nights and all-nighters. It is not like getting a bachelors degree which involves taking classes, passing test, and writing papers with some direction for the topic. It is not like a masters degree, which is, of course, much harder and sleep depriving, but there is a very set path to follow if you get one that doesn't require a thesis. The thesis thing may be a bit like the dissertation, but the emphasis on contributing something new may be less pertinent.

Since Cornell is ranked 17th among US universities, I highly doubt they have a Ph.D. program that grants Ph.D.s just for hanging around for four years.
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