Professor Donald B. Redford, a prominent Egyptologist, who has written extensively on Egypt and the Bible, has remarked on the fact that "amateurs" have contributed to the advancement of knowledge. His observations I find "encouraging" in my presentations at this website, being an amateur scholar myself.
Redford (Emphasis is mine):
"Laity often suffer under the delusion that "scholars" constitute a special interest group that stands united whenever any of its members is attacked, and refuses to allow any without the Ph.D. "union card" to participate in its activities. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The quest for knowledge (a pompous but apt phrase) through the application of reasoned scholarly methodemploys far more simple common sense than most people realize, and is therefore open to all. If professionals generally do it better, that is simply because they have had more practice; but it sometimes transpires that in a particularly thorny problem it is an unbiased amateur that makes a breakthrough." (p. xxi. "Preface." Donald B. Redford. Akhenaten, The Heretic King. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press.1984, reprint 1987)