The Blogosphere is abuzz about an article in the LA Times regarding Second Lady Jill Biden’s preference to be acknowledged by her honorific title of “Doctor,” which references her Ph.D in education. The article states that many prominent newspapers, including the LA Times and the Washington Post, only use the honorific title in articles if the doctorate degree in question is in a medical field, calling into question the context in which the “Dr.” title is used in other situations, and whether it is more accepted for males to be acknowledged by this title than females.
Related ScienceBlogs Posts:
- What’s in an honorific?
Adventures in Ethics and Science February 2, 2009
Let’s stipulate that it’s hard work to earn an advanced degree. To the extent that people have done that hard work and would like to commemorate that achievement with the honorific that goes with the degree, why on earth should that be a problem? Dr. Biden is teaching education classes, not claiming that she can cure anyone’s sciatica.
- Dr. Biden Isn’t the Sort of Doctor Who Can Help You
Uncertain Principles February 2, 2009
Yeah, fine, “Doctor” is usually reserved for medical doctors, but it’s not like she’s trying to prescribe medication, here. She’s just asking to be recognized as an accomplished individual in her own right, and not merely an appendage of Senator Biden. That hardly calls for eleven paragraphs of snickering about her title.
- That’s DOCTOR BIDEN to YOU!
Living the Scientific Life January 31, 2009
Since you seem to have forgotten about these things, let me remind you: after abandoning medieval thievery and tortures such as prayer, bleeding, and snake oil, medical practitioners took on the honorific “Medical Doctor” to signify that they had escaped from the grip of Hippocratic dogma and had finally arrived as members of the reality-based community who rely upon scientifically-based information to do their jobs.
- On Disrespecting Dr. Biden
Drug Monkey Ferbruary 2, 2008
Yes, that’s right, in the US if you have an appointment that includes the word professor, then you are rightfully called “Professor”, particularly when it comes to being addressed by students. And if you have an academic doctoral degree you are also rightfully called “Doctor”. Period.
- Debate Over the Right to Be Called “Dr.” Continues…
On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess February 3, 2009
Clearly, calling Jill Biden “Dr. Biden” threatens the power dynamics of the traditional American family. After all, how can Joe Biden be a traditional patriarchal leader if his wife keeps cutting his balls off by doing a silly thing like educating herself?
- Honorifics, credentials, and respect.
Adventures in Ethics and Science February 4, 2009
There are a number of people who, in the world we currently inhabit, are repeatedly confronted with the experience of having their expertise, hardwork, perseverance, and intelligence discounted, in big ways and in small ways. When these people jump through all the hoops that the folks discounting them recognize as certifying something, are they supposed to shut up about their advanced degrees because it’s not quite polite to draw attention to them?