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Originally posted March 20 2007 at 16:03 under Physics and General. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled. Last modified: 20 March 2007 at 18:02

There Is No Secret

Irrationally disappointed

Back when I was quite a bit younger than I am now I was arguably more imaginative, or naive—or stupid if you wish to be unkind—and in moments of ideal wonder pondered if there was a big secret. I was always interested in science, and in some respects science has this great cloak of seeming to know all, and has its own secret language and all the other things that make science communication difficult for the brave souls which try it. So I occasionally wondered, in no great seriousness, if there were some great secret that was imparted to the priesthood of science once you rose high enough. Not so much “there is (or isn’t) a god” but maybe “here’s what the aliens told us”. Because I was quite young and hadn’t seen the writhing insides of academia the natural place for that to occur seemed to be when one was elevated to the magical ranks of the all powerful and, to youthful eyes at least, rare doctorhood.

Well, I have a PhD. In the back of my head I think there was probably just a tiny part of my motivation which was wanting to know. There is no secret. In the viva they really do just talk about your work. They don’t tell you what ET thought of it. For no rational reason, there is still the slightest twinge of disappointment at that. Unless, of course, they only tell professors…

[Hey, I just realised. If there were a secret, I’d probably tell you there’s not, wouldn’t I?]

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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