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Not accurate: is it canon? Edit

The article says a doctorate is the terminal degree awarded to all disciplines. That's not true in real life. Consider lawyers, for example: their initial degree is a "JD" or Juris Doctor, which means "doctor of law" or something similar. The next degree for them, which is their terminal degree, is an "LL.M", or legum magister (or something; I don't recall the Latin spelling). It essentially means "master of law". There is also the LL.D degree, which in theory is above an LL.M, but in reality it's just an honorary degree.

So my question: how'd this list get put together? It doesn't conform to real-world info, so unless canon has stated it, I think we should delete the wrong stuff and limit the amount of info given (with references).

--Cepstrum (talk) 14:18, November 1, 2010 (UTC)

PS The list of "doctors" seems highly dubious. Aside from the lawyer thing (and they're not ever even addressed with the title "doctor"!) is professor. Being a professor does not mean you necessarily have a doctorate. Unless that list is from canon, we should either delete it or alter it.

I don't know of a canon reference to a doctorate as the highest (terminal) degree for many fields, such as engineering (such as Dr. Leah Brahms) or other disciplines. Yes, it's true for today, but we don't know what the 24h century will have. It's certainly reasonable, that, in the UFP with its many constituent members, has adopted a new standard. I think we just don't know. And if we don't know, how can we list it as fact? I'd like to put a citation needed tag on the whole page or at least that section. --Cepstrum (talk) 15:11, November 1, 2010 (UTC)

I removed your "pna-cite/inaccurate". As things stand on the page now, we saw a "doctor" in each one of those professions. It does not matter what the "real world" stuff actually is -- those things listed all have a "doctor" in the people we saw on screen. I removed "Lawyer" and "Professor", since I couldn't (at a quick glance) find a "doctor" for those two types, but the rest exist in Trek and thus do not need the citation/inaccurate marking. -- sulfur 16:52, November 1, 2010 (UTC)

Ok, thanks, Sulfur! The reason I mentioned real-world info is that, unless Trek canon has specifically stated otherwise, it's just speculation to list those professions as holding a doctorate. And just because we saw "doctor" for some of those professions, don't you agree it's a bit of a stretch to state without canon reference that a doctorate is "one of the highest degrees awarded by a university? I was just trying to ensure that, despite the real-world info we have that supports such statements, we have actual canon reference(s) that also supply that info. From a real-world POV, the article is mostly accurate. I was merely concerned that we were putting in real-world info without canon evidence. Does that make sense? I'm pretty dumb at this! Rats. --Cepstrum (talk) 13:42, November 2, 2010 (UTC)

Common sense:
  1. We saw some in those, therefore we know that people in those professions can hold the title of "Doctor". We are by no means stating that all people in those professions hold that title, nor should we.
  2. We can simply stated that "doctor" is a title. But that really does not help the reader in any way whatsoever. So, we use a taste of "real world" information to expand enough to make it vaguely useful, while leaving the meat of the "real world" description at WP.
Without using some common sense, most of the articles on MA would be "X is something. It was referenced by Y." :) -- sulfur 13:53, November 2, 2010 (UTC)

I see your points and agree. I have since added "engineer" to the list, for Dr. Leah Brahms was an engineer, and engineers, while closely related, are distinct from scientists. (Ask one or the other!)

--Cepstrum (talk) 14:28, November 11, 2010 (UTC)


Uh... It seems that much of this article and this discussion is from the U.S. viewpoint, which is pretty unique compared to the rest of the world. In many European countries there are no "professional doctorates" such as MD and JD - the equivalent degree isn't even a doctoral degree. However, in regards to Star Trek, I do not think the article's statements are canon. In the future, the academic credentials of UFP are probably (very) different from what was used in USA in the 1990s, and from random anecdotes we can't conclude that they are using the exact same system - after all, they would probably want to accommodate other planets' academic systems as well. Remember that not all doctors are called "doctor of philosophy" around the world. Engineering doctors are sometimes called "doctor of engineering", "doctor of science" or "doctor of technology". This article should reflect on what we know about canon Star Trek and not what we know about United States academic system. 23:01, March 29, 2014 (UTC)

If aspects of this article were not mentioned in canon, they should probably be removed, but since Star Trek is a US production written largely by US people it would make sense that they would base the doctoral system of the Federation on how it is in the US. 31dot (talk) 02:30, March 30, 2014 (UTC)

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