[ RadSafe ] Busby: chemist or physicist?

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at chello.at
Mon May 2 09:35:47 CDT 2011

Steven, Roger, Chris and all others engaged on RADSAFE in the recent debate
on PhD degrees in different fields!!!

May I try to get some sense into this debate? First of all I voluntarily
confess that I am a chemist by education - please continue reading! The
education at the University of Vienna was extremely hard, partly because it
comprised a lot of compulsary physics lectures and practica, not to talk
about physical chemistry with all the thermodynamics up to Schroedinger
equation. I voluntarily attented - together with many of my collegues -
lectures on radioactivity and radiochemistry held by Prof. Broda, well known
in Austria, but most likely not in the USA and the same is true for lectures
by Prof. Schoenfeld, who brought to our knowledge then the really
sensational new techniques of chromatography, ion exchange and radiochemical
techniques. My PhD thesis was a combination of radioanaltytical chemistry
using a physical phenomenon called electrophoresis. After that I worked in
radiochemical analysis, gamma-spectrometry, Liquid Scintillation
Spectrometry, Emergency Planning (before Chernobyl), Radioecology (past
Chernobyl), radon, NORM, etc. etc. etc. 

Now please tell me, what kind of expert I am - or you may also answer that I
know a little about everything, but nothing about something.... A good old

I actually do not know the education system in the USA. The system in Europe
and Austria has been changed dramatically since I studied - not to the
better. It seems that the interchange between different topics like in this
discussions between chemistry and physics (statistics, epidemiology....) has
become almost non existent - otherwise I cannot understand these fierce

Another sad topic is of course the discussion about titles. 

I always had the impression, that titles are not so important in the USA. I
might have been a dozen times or more in the USA and know dozens of US
scientists personally, but I usually do not know their titles. This was once
very important in some parts of Europe, but I never really knew, what
academic titles my friends in Scandinavia held. Even in Germany adressing
one another with the academic title is outdated among scientists. 

What is the discussion about PhD titles good for? I know many persons
without such a title, whom I believe to be excellent scientists. Mostly they
are found in the USA, but this includes in my home country such, who had not
the financial opportunity to finish their studies, but still do excellent

I hope I could calm down this not always reasonable discussion.

Best regards,


Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
MinRat i.R.
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Wien/Vienna

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] Im Auftrag von Steven Dapra
Gesendet: Montag, 02. Mai 2011 05:10
An: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Betreff: Re: [ RadSafe ] Busby: chemist or physicist?

May 1

         Okay, Mr. CHEMICAL physicist.  Besides, I did not call you a 
physicist. The infowars.com web site that was fawning and simpering 
over you called you a "physicist."  Why don't you register a 
complaint with your sycophants?  By the way, how do you know there is 
"a rage" in all those residents of Tokyo?  Have you interviewed any of them?

         You are not a nuclear physicist, nor are you an 
epidemiologist, hence when you are spewing about power reactors and 
epidemiology you are outside of your field, so big deal.

         I think it's safe to assume that you are implying that 
Fukushima will cause an *additional* 800,000 cancers.  That claim is 
a fraud and a hoax.  But just to be reasonable about it, let's see 
your "calculations," assuming that you can find the envelope upon 
whose back you made them.

Steven Dapra

At 01:06 PM 5/1/2011, you wrote:

>My PhD is in Chemical PHYSICS
>Thank you
>Chris Busby
>-----Original Message-----
>From: radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu on behalf of Steven Dapra
>Sent: Sat 30/04/2011 05:05
>To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
>Subject: [ RadSafe ] Busby: chemist or physicist?
>April 29
>         According to this hysterical and fear-mongering article, Chris
>is a physicist.  Here's the quote:
>"Dr. Chris Busby, another physicist says there is a rage in the
>people in Tokyo and he now predicts based on his calculations that
>800,000 people out of about 8 million who live within 200 kilomters
>[sic] of the plant will contract cancer if they are not moved out."
>         Here's the link:
>         Based on the size of the scroll bar it looks like a long
>article.  Over three fourths of it is comments from readers.  (The
>article is about 2400 words long.)
>Steven Dapra

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