Considering that the number of Researchers (PhDs included) in Europe and across the world is high and that it is only in recent years when research has become a ‘paid job’, I find it important to clarify some things:
First of all, PhD students do not go to school. They usually work extremely hard at the university (in special places, usually called “Graduate Schools”). In some countries they have the status of university employees (like in the Netherlands). So, in case you know some PhDs and are wondering when they will start working because they are in their 30’s and still going to school, for your information they already work 😉 (did I already mention that they work very hard?).
Second of all, we are not that boring.
Even if Researchers carry out such an interesting work – like creating new knowledge – if you watch the beginning of the video of Brené Brown at TEDxHouston on “The Power of Vulnerability”, you will understand soon enough that Researchers are not seen as very ‘entertaining’ so to speak.. Just because scientific language is difficult to understand and you see more people wearing glasses (if any) around the university, this does not make us less fun. Trust me, I am a doctor 🙂
Research-all-around to produce knowledge
Third of all, Research is not only about natural sciences! Scientific work (Research) is done on a wide range of disciplines, not only in those where you are mixing chemical substances to create an explosion in the lab. Academic Research varies from molecular microbiology to the study of corruption or national identity, public policy of the roads and artificial intelligence. Even mathematicians do Research, otherwise how do you think they workout all those huge formulas?