Home / Put the “Ph” Back in PhD. We need big thinkers, but the current system teaches students to think small.  
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By re-embracing the relevant branches of philosophy—a central field of the humanities—scientists will see and think more broadly, perhaps rediscovering what drew them to the field in the first place. In the end, it’s not the number of high-impact-factor papers, prizes or grant dollars that matter most—but the joys of discovery and the innumerable contributions, both large and small, that one makes through contact with other scientists.

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Conceptually, I agree with his view that without a better understanding and appreciation for philosophy, humanity is limited by the progress science makes. But if I'm understanding his reasoning, he wants more philosophy so that scientists can become well-rounded generalists, reduce competitiveness, and better communicate to voters and politicians. These might be valuable benefits but, to me, humanity could benefit most if scientists had a much better understanding of rational ethics. IMO, universities are churning out too many unethical scientists and, for proof, I offer how much money goes into government-related projects (e.g., weapons, surveillance, control). A rational understanding of ethics is needed to reduce the research and funding of the plethora of destructive and control-oriented efforts. Not to mention that if scientists ever truly learned rational ethics, they'd no longer ask for government grants as they'd know it's wrong to take stolen money.

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I am driven by two philosophies: know more about the world than I did yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you. - Neil deGrasse Tyson

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