What’s the value of a PhD?

This week, several articles published in Nature focus on the past, present and to some extent the future of a PhD. Kerri Smith and Noah Baker interviewed Francis Collins, Sara Seager and Uta Frith, three renowned scientists who shared their thoughts and feelings about their own thesis.

It was interesting to see that despite the doubts that a PhD might rise in a researcher, it also endured them with the necessary skills to tackle new fields and questions. “I think the greatest beneficiary of my PhD was not the Universe,” Collins says. “It was probably me.” Perhaps that is the most strong power of a PhD but I personally like to think the opposite. Or at least I wish that my work might have a practical output for the future generations. But as we currently struggle for limited funding and jobs (should I say fellowships?) get even scarcer, doing science for the society seems like seeing a white elephant…

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