Saturday, March 24, 2007

I Could Tell You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

Speaking of trying to finish dissertations, check out this passage from Infinite Potential, F. David Peat's biography of David Bohm:

Bohm was reaching the end of his own research project on the collisions of protons and deuterons--only to find it plucked from under his nose. The scattering calculations that he had completed proved useful to the Manhattan Project and were immediately classified. Without security clearance, Bohm was denied access to his own work; not only would he be barred from defending his thesis, he was not even allowed to write his own thesis in the first place! To satisfy the university, Oppenheimer certified that Bohm had successfully completed the research, and he was awarded his Ph.D. in 1943. [p. 64]

That last part is pretty sweet. Do you think if I somehow get my dissertation classified, my supervisor could convince the Graduate Division of the school that I don't actually need to finish it? It would make my CV look pretty fucking cool, too. I don't think I'd bother with the Pentagon-style black lines over all my dissertation info. I'd just make it is say "Dissertation title redacted," or something like that. It'd be more elegant that way.

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