Are most PhD Papers useless?

In a meeting, Elon Musk said most PhD Papers are useless.

As you can check in this video: - YouTube

Do you agree? Or maybe it’s just a phrase taken out of context?

And specifically to Telecom and ICT areas… is it worth creating several Phd Papers?

Hello everybody.

Indeed, some works are out of context or aligned with particular interests. Often, they are produced in conjunction with intense activities within companies, which weakens the rigor and theoretical-methodological depth of the study.

On the other hand, when they are carried out in an integral and vigorous way within strong dialogues with other Brazilian and foreign researchers, through the participation of researchers in national or international projects, or through participation in research laboratories, whether with qualitative or In quantitative terms, the work tends to be innovative and contributes a lot to the field, both for universities and for the business perspective in general.

In general, I believe that when working seriously and intensively, the result tends to be different and without this perspective, neither universities nor companies would benefit. Finally, it is necessary to emphasize that not even universities survive without knowledge; but also, companies really need universities to train their people.

In addition, R&D, that is, the relationship between both organizations, is essential for the benefit of society and the market, and has been highlighted as being of great importance for both organizations.

For there to be good products on the market, they first need basic research and theoretical insights and peer review to become a product or a patent. Therefore, even in companies when the work is not serious and intense, there is no value.

What drives a work forward, whether academic or business, or an interface between both, is seriousness, determination and networking with other professionals and researchers in the area and beyond, so that knowledge is always polished and socially constructed. in a unique and original way.

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In fact, many academic works have no practical application, and even fewer have immediate application. But that doesn’t mean they are useless. Quite the opposite! The construction of knowledge is gradual and even if a job “goes wrong” it also contributes to the construction of knowledge.

George Boole created Boolean algebra nearly 200 years ago. At the time, it must have been considered useless by most people. Today it is the foundation for digital computing. The same kind of reasoning applies to several techniques created long before any practical application, such as the Fourier Transform, the Electromagnetism Theory of and so many other wonderful things that make us cry when we try to understand. :grin:

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I disagree with Elon (And totally agree with Marina and Felipe).

I don’t think he must have ever read a thesis.

They may seem useless at first, but if every time something is developed it needs to research everything from scratch, science doesn’t advance.

In fact, theses alone make a small contribution to the advancement of knowledge. Half of the texts make reference to a lot of other theses and so the knowledge is being linked and expanded.

The record set in the time of production of the covid vaccine was only possible because the knowledge that was dispersed in theses around the world was added.

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