Another line that gave me pause: “the only true profession is blood work — the work of the surgeon, the soldier, and the butcher.” I’ve been reading and writing about military literature for decades and yet have never seen that thought expressed before, to my knowledge. (Not that I endorse it. My own view is that something is a true profession if its practitioner is governed more by the soul more than by the market. Thus law is not always a profession, but other work, say boatbuilding or cooking, sometimes can be.)'I thought this was a pretty interesting observation about what constitutes a profession. By contrast, let's look at what Merriam-Webster has to say:
4a : a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparationUnder the Merriam-Webster definition, chemistry is indeed a profession, something I wholeheartedly agree with. My engineer father (whom I love) would probably point to licensing bodies as a sign of "professionalism", something that chemistry mostly does not possess. Happily, I believe chemistry also meets the Ricks' definition of a profession as well; while much of chemistry (including what I do) is governed by the market, so much of what we do as chemists is also 'governed more by the soul.'
4b : a principal calling, vocation, or employment
4c : the whole body of persons engaged in a calling
Readers, what do you think? Is chemistry a profession? What is your favorite definition? Are you governed more by your soul than the market?