It should be noted here that “lay scientist” refers to people who undertake etheric studies without formal training in etheric studies. Obviously, the field must first be recognized by educational institutions before academic training will be available specific to this field of study, and since this is not yet the case, there are no academically trained etheric studies scientists. There are, or course people who have considerable experience and are self-taught in the necessary related fields. There are even a few people in etheric studies who are academically trained in other, but related fields, such as physics and parapsychology. However, consider the following scenario:
AJ has been studying EVP for six years and has undertaken well designed studies of how EVP are recorded. He has been an electronics technician for twenty years, is a ham radio operator and has an associate of arts degree in psychology.
ES is a recent graduate of Stanford with a doctorate in philosophy. He has recorded a few EVP but has no additional training in the field and no academic experience outside of the educational program he underwent for his doctorate.
When AJ and ES appear together in a conference, whatever ES says will be accepted by the public as fact, while AJ’s statements will be generally discounted. It is human nature and the way people are trained in this culture to believe a doctorate over a layperson.
It is important to acknowledge the credentials people work hard to acquire, but in a field of study that has no doctorates specifically train in the subject, it is important that subject matter expertise is given appropriate credit as well. This is especially true when it is well known that doctors speak with doctors, and laypeople are generally discounted—in essentially all fields of study.
As a matter of professional etiquette, communication amongst etheric studies researchers should be signed with the person’s real name. If a degree is to be included in the title, then it should state the field in which it is earned. For instance, Tom Butler, BSEEE (Bachelor of Science, Electronic and Electrical Engineer) would be appropriate. With common usage, “BSEE” would do, but more expedient is a brief biography indicating qualifications in the personal page of the Best Practices Development wiki, which can be referred to as a link for online communication.
We discourage signing with a degree notation unless the degree is applicable to the subject. For instance, signing with the notation of a doctor of psychology would seem irrelevant in a message about stochastic resonance.