Email from Henry aka TheBigHenry:
Simon Blackburn's position on 'The myth of the scientist' that:This claims that there is an expertise, science, and that people who are good at it deserve a lot of attention. This is almost wholly false. There is no such thing as a scientist... There are only biologists, chemists, physicists, mathematicians and so on. These may be very bright people, but the moment one of them steps a millimetre or two outside their special area of expertise, they are no better than the rest of us.... is absolutely false.
Before my 16-plus years as a nuclear physicist, specializing in the development and application of Monte Carlo simulation techniques for the solution of grand challenge problems concerning nuclear power and weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory, I spent five years at Cornell, six more at Columbia, followed by 15 years at my first scientific position beyond my doctorate. In that more than quarter century I studied applied mathematics, numerical analysis, computer applications, Monte Carlo simulation techniques, chemistry (both qualitative and quantitative analysis), and more physics and engineering disciplines than you can shake a stick at. At Cornell I became an engineer, specializing first in chemistry and subsequently in physics. At Columbia I became a nuclear scientist, specializing in nuclear engineering and nuclear physics, as well as computer simulation techniques. At my first job I considered myself a numerical scientist specializing in Monte Carlo simulation techniques, both development and application, and finally at Los Alamos I became an applied and theoretical nuclear physicist. I make the bold claim that I am more knowledgeable in mathematics, chemistry, engineering, computer systems, in addition to physics than the average non-scientist. And based on my personal non-scientific reading, I am pretty sure I can hold my own in some fields beyond my special fields of expertise. And I strongly believe that most people who consider themselves to be scientists can make similar claims.
In all my years of study, which continues to the present, what I learned best of all was how to learn.