1/ From titles like “data scientist” to “scientist”. This madness doesn’t end here.
We also have grades
– senior scientist
– principal scientist
– scientist I
– scientist II
Labelling researchers was intended for salary. Now the… “my dad is a scientist” is a job description.
2/ Darwin, was not a scientist. He was described as a naturalist, geologist, biologist etc.
Newton was not a scientist. He was described as mathematician, physicist, astronomer etc.
There is not any certification for becoming a “scientist”. At least, not among adults.
3/ Who is a botanist any more? Not cool. You’re not a mathematician or a statistician but … a scientist. The coolest kid in town is a “scientist”.
4/ The hubris:
1. The more we over-specialise the more general titles we claim. Do you specialise on a specialised specialty? You’re a scientist!
2. The more we reject metaphysics, the more metaphysical claims we make (“scientist” is a metaphysical title, like “priest”. ).
5/ For more context & inspiration. “Will Save Science in America or Go Down Swinging”.
At least “analyst” was a bit more humble. It implied some sort of special task. Even “data science”, ok, let’s say it englobes all scientific fields around data. But when a biologist is presented as “a scientist” I get goosebumps.