18 May 2011

Science != Engineering

Singularity Hub | Peter Murray | Eight Out Of China’s Top Nine Government Officials Are Scientists

Did you know that the president of China is a scientist? President Hu Jintao was trained as a hydraulic engineer. Likewise his Premier, Wen Jiabao, is a geomechanical engineer. In fact, 8 out of China’s top 9 government officials are scientists.
Hold the phone. Hu Jintao is a scientist. Trained in hydraulic engineering. Which is it? Scientist or engineer? You can be both. But they aren't the same thing.

This is a bit like saying "Did you know the mayor of Frosbite Falls is a poet? It's true: he has published seven novels."  The mayor could be a poet and a novelist.  I have an engineering degree but am a scientist by vocation.  Perhaps Hu took a similar path.

I'm all for more scientists and engineers in government, but let's maintain a bit of linguistic clarity, shall we?

(Via Marginal Revolution)

1 comment:

  1. That is one of my pet peeves -- when people don't know the difference between scientists and engineers. (Hint: there is no such thing as a "rocket scientist".)