Originally posted by BWSmith
But by the same token, scientific background is another vague term.
If you have a post secondary education and earned a degree in one of the sciences, I (meaning my opinion) consider you to have a scientific background. i.e. you took college level courses from 'experts' in their field, learned some principles and applied them using the scientific method.
There's an organization here in North Carolina called CCARI, the Central Carolina Amphibian and Reptile Initiative (conservation of herps). It's co-ordinated by a biology professor at Davidson College who teaches herpetology classes. He obviously has a scientific background. Any joe blow can call in species sightings if they can answer the questions on the species submission form (details as to location, specifically etc). The Joe Blow in question doesn't have to have a scientific background to do "scientific things".
I'm not trying to take anything away from you Brian, just stating my opinion.