PhD: is the doctoral thesis obsolete?

Paul Jump, Times Higher Education, May 24, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If it were not for the requirement of a doctoral thesis, I would have a doctorate (that is literally what "All but Dissertation" means). So, yeah, I think it's obsolete. But maybe I'm a bit biased. Sure, I could have finished, I suppose, but I couldn't justify spending a year of my life writing something that would be read by four people. As Jeremy Farrar says, "An awful lot is going unused and unread. Is this really appropriate for the modern world? Communication within the science world and with the public is becoming shorter and snappier, yet our PhDs still seem to be stuck in the 1960s." Or maybe the 1860s.

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