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I read all of the Laundry Files books, and I vaguely recall that Bob insists on being called Doctor at some point, implying he has a PhD, probably in Computer Science.

Is this ever confirmed in any of the books, or am I misremembering?

  • 1
    I just did a quick search of the first 5 books (six, including the novella Overtime), and I don't see Bob either claiming or being referred to as "doctor" anywhere. – Joe L. Jul 22 '16 at 13:09
  • @JoeL. - Should'a looked harder :-) – Valorum Jul 22 '16 at 16:15
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Bob doesn't have a PhD. He dropped out before completing one, due to a slight (ahem) mishap.

Actually they didn’t. The ten-percenter thing only really applied to staff with actual postgraduate degrees. I’d never finished my PhD, much less got to strut my stuff in a silly robe, but I’d jumped on the bandwagon with a carefully muted shriek of glee

The Rhesus Chart

He undertook PhD study at Birmingham University. It's not clear whether he took his Bachelors Degree there as well, nor whether he attained a Masters Degree (one of the normal pre-requisites for taking a Doctorate in the UK)

I have a somewhat embarrassing relationship with Wolverhampton. Back when I was at university in Birmingham I nearly landscaped it by accident. I was trying to develop a new graphics algorithm. Planar homogeneous matrix transformations into dimensions dominated by gibbering horrors tend to attract the Laundry's attention: they got to me just in time--just before the nameless horrors I was about to unintentionally summon into this world--and made me a job offer I wasn't allowed to refuse.

The Fuller Memorandum

He holds a degree in Computer Science

THE NAME’S HOWARD, BOB HOWARD. I’M A COMPUTER SCIENCE graduate and IT person, and I work for the British government in London, as does my wife Mo, Dominique O’Brien, who is a few years older than I am but still (in my opinion) a gorgeous redhead.

The Rhesus Chart


Bob has never insisted on being called "Doctor", but his girlfriend (later wife) Mo has been very touchy about it in the past. Possibly that's what you're thinking of.

What do you bring to the table, Mrs. Howard?”
I grin and bare my teeth at her: “That’s Dr. O’Brien to you, Ms. Murphy.”
I glance over my shoulder at Lecter: his case is the right way round to display the sticker on its side. THIS MACHINE KILLS DEMONS.
“That facetious bumper-sticker sums up what I used to do for our organization – our real organization, that is. I destroy emergent threats. When I’m not doing field work, I have a PhD in philosophy of mathematics, lecture part-time in music theory at Birkbeck, and specialize in the application of fast Fourier transforms to psychoacoustic summoning systems. And I appear to be your designated line manager.”

The Annihilation Score

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