(such as pito's story, he was obviously very lucky to have worked in a lab where the PI gave him the freedom to do his own work, and to publish and to speak at conferences etc, I've never heard of that!!).
I agree with what you say, but in general I only wanted to point out that too many people only look at "things" in front of people their names like PhD or Dr. or Msc. or...? whatever.
I can see that they select based on a degree, I am fine with that, but there are too many people out there that still believe that "wisom" comes with a Phd or whatever.
And about the story: the guy I was talking about was doing research for years, combined with teaching. After a while (lets say 15 years) the school decided to "give" him his own lab wich he accepted however because he didnt have a Phd they needed to find someone who has a PhD and that person would then be "officialy" to head of the lab because a non Dr. couldnt be the boss of a lab (funds etc and also for publications..).
To make the story short: they hired someone because that person was a dr. That person is now officialy the head of the lab... but all people working there or know about the lab know that the other one (the old guy that is doing his PhD thesis now) is the true boss..
I find this a very funny story.
I also remember a conference where we were and there were 4 specialist (out of 30 maybe) from other countries talking about a subject where the old guys is a real specialist in, but they heard at the start of the conference that he wasnt a doctor, just an engineer working on the topic, so whenever they were speaking at each other, when we were there too, they always ignored him a bit and spoke to "his boss" who knows almost nothing about it and at a certain point "the boss" had to ask him something because the boss couldnt answer their question, and the boss just said: oh well, fuck this: he is the specialist, speak to him, I know shit about this.
The look on those idiots their face... its was priceless...
And it got even worse when the speaker announced the host speaker, the world specialist in their expertise ... he just walked up and started speaking... hell I almost crapped my pants when I saw those idiots and later on when they had to come and beg him for more information and help for their research.
I know that other countries select more on practical knowledge and what you can (at least that is what they told me) but in belgium they still select too much times based on degrees, scores etc... without looking at the person itself (workethics, practical knowledge, interest in working etc.. to give an extreme example there is one organisation that gives funds and they dont even look at the person they simply select based on points alone!!!! You can be a good student, study hard and get good grades and at the same time be a total "idiot" in the lab... but heck they get the funds to do a phd while someone else might be less theoretical and thus less points but be better at lab work etc... and that person would not get selected.)
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.