...my DPhil...never have written any books

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Failed to get the logic.

DPhil refers to a British doctorate, with which a person would certainly write some books too.

It seems that I got English grammar or rhetoric wrong here. Does "any books" here simply refer to the books about animal behaviour? It seems not likely. Because Dawkins' The God Delusion cannot be properly counted as about animal behaviour (eh... do you categorize Humans as animals here?). Either way Dawkins would have written books, not "never have written any books").

Thanks in advance

What if I’d failed, as probably I nearly did? What if I had never had tutorials with Niko Tinbergen, and therefore followed my earlier plan to do biochemical research for my DPhil rather than animal behaviour? Surely my whole life would then have been different? Probably I would never have written any books.

–Richard Dawkins
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I don't think your premise is correct. People with doctorates in some fields, such as animal behavior, generally write books (though not always). In other fields it is less common. If Dawkins had gone into biochemical research, and had made a career of that, he would probably have written several scientific papers - but not necessarily any books.



    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Do biochemists typically write books? I would not be surprised if they do not.

    "Any books" does not seem to mean any books about animal behavior; it seems to mean any books at all. Apparently Dawkins thought that he wouldn't have written books if he had become a biochemist instead of an evolutionary biologist.



    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Biochemists usually write (research) papers and reviews, but rarely books, on biochemistry. (I know because I have a D. Phil. in biochemistry:D and 50+ publications but no books - only a few book chapters). Animal behaviour is a topic of much broader interest and appeal than biochemistry so books will sell to a wider audience.
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    Senior Member
    American English
    Also, and perhaps expanding on Julian's point, Dawkins' books are not textbooks, but books explaining evolution to a lay audience. There is very little interest in books about biochemistry for non-scientists, but there is a very large audience for books about evolution, since there have been efforts for many years to prevent evolution being taught in some US state-run schools.
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