Are the any famous or well-known (today-living) researchers without academic degrees working as professors or permanent staff members?

There are two related questions:

However, I am curious about the no-degree (past upper secondary school, i.e. no BSc, MSc, PhD, etc) case.

  • What about a degree in an unrelated field (e.g. math professor with a degree in history), would that count?
    – Bitwise
    Jun 9, 2015 at 14:29

2 Answers 2


In regard to your question's topic, at least two relevant terms come to mind: lay scholar and autodidact. Once we establish the right terminology, it is not too difficult to find information that you're looking for. In particular, this Wikipedia list and this list seem to be rather comprehensive (you will have to filter the information to select the modern-era academics without degrees).


Freeman Dyson does not have a PhD.


  • 1
    -1, Freeman Dyson has a Cambridge MA
    – MJeffryes
    Jun 7, 2015 at 22:22

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