Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday links

This is a pretty amazing little story, with Parts 1, 2 and 3. It's worth a read, if only for a reminder of the crazy that can happen at a small company. Milkshake can tell a good story.

Also, here's a recording of me being interviewed on Beyond the Bench by Dr. Marquita Qualls - a very enjoyable dialogue on careers. 

This week's C&EN

A few articles from this week's issue of C&EN:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

2 cm Teflon stir blades

A list of small, useful things (links):
Again, an open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring you millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

Have a great weekend! 

Quote of the day: the calming influence of money

For some reason, this passage from Mario Puzo's "The Godfather" has always stuck with me, especially when dealing with customers: 
Hagen knew his manners. He did not speak, he did not smile. He waited on his boss, Don Corleone, with all the respect of a favorite earl waiting on his kind; bringing him a cold drink, lighting his cigar, positioning his ashtray; with respect but no obsequiousness.  
Hagen was the only one in that room who knew the identity of the portraits hanging on the dark paneled walls. They were mostly portraits of fabulous financial figures done in rich oils. One was of Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton. Hagen could not help thinking that Hamilton might have approved of his peace meeeting being held in a banking institution. Nothing was more calming, more conducive to pure reason, than the atmosphere of money.
I kinda think Hagen was kinda wrong, but it helps me a little during a teleconference... 

Help fund the DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon!

Lots of science blogger/Twitter folks are going to be helping out at the DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon (a convention for young women about geek culture) on September 30 and October 1, including myself.

We're soliciting donations for our efforts. Your contributions would be spent on Zone supplies (activity ingredients, tarps, cleaning supplies, etc.)

Here's what I am offering to you, Chemjobber reader. If you donate and tell me, I will offer you a handwritten thank you note and, for any donation of $20 or larger, a post of your choosing.

I do not love soliciting funds, but teaching science and the scientific method to kids is worthy in my opinion. Thanks for listening. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 132 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list has 132 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States (this will likely change), computational positions (this will likely change as well), process positions (coming soon....), academic positions (likely never.)

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 11 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 11 positions. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The skills of chemists versus other fields

Credit: New York Times
You may have seen the minor kerfuffle about this rather silly New York Times metric that would allow you to choose the opposite of your job, skills-wise (scroll down). (Apparently, "physicist" was coming up the opposite of a lot of things.) I did think the accompanying chart, with its comparisons of various jobs on a Y-axis of "clerical/service work versus machine operating" and an X-axis of "communication and thought versus more physical work" was interesting to contemplate, especially since I tend to think of laboratory positions as ones that require physical work. I see that police officers do more operating of machines and processes than chemists, which I find to be an interesting judgment.

I also thought these two paragraphs were a nice summation of overall thoughts about job dislocation in Our Modern Times:
...Because people rarely spend their entire careers at one company anymore, employers have less incentive to invest in training workers in new skills, because they might quit and take those skills to a competitor, said David Deming, a professor of public policy, education and economics at Harvard. Workers also have little incentive to invest in training, because there’s no guarantee it will pay off with long-term employment. Others have trouble thinking of themselves as doing other kinds of jobs — which Lawrence Katz, a Harvard labor economist, says is an identity mismatch, not a skill mismatch. 
Even if workers want to learn new skills and find new occupations, there is no streamlined way to do so. People procrastinate, inaccurately assess their own abilities and are unaware of what other jobs entail, according to behavioral economists. The United States spends a fraction of what other developed countries do on labor market adjustment programs like job counseling and retraining. Assistance is piecemeal, and many people who qualify don’t use it. 
Meanwhile, employers hire based on credentials that job applicants can’t change — a college degree or previous job title — rather than assessing the skills an applicant has developed, said Mr. Auguste, who was an economic adviser in the Obama administration.  
It probably takes quite a bit of time and thought to assess skills, as opposed to looking at degrees or job titles. A shame. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 117 positions

The 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 117 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to talk anonymously? Try the open thread.

Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

What's the best way to write a statement of faith?

If you'd like to find out about writing a statement of faith if you're thinking about applying for a faculty position at a religiously-affiliated school, feel free to read more. In this case, it's a Christian institution. If you aren't interested, I understand.

UPDATE: Anon731A makes a very good point: "Please don't assume that if a college has a religious affiliation, that a statement of faith is required."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Interesting development on the law school front

Via the New York Times, a change in testing requirements: 
Law schools, which have been plagued by a shortfall of students in recent years, are changing their admissions requirements. 
Two top-ranked schools — Georgetown University Law Center and Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law — this week joined Harvard Law’s recent move to make it simpler to apply. 
Applicants can submit the results of the more widely available Graduate Record Exam, the GRE, instead of those from the Law School Admissions Test, which long has been entrenched as the numeric gauge of law school success. 
Many law schools are casting wider nets to attract students who would not otherwise set their sights on a legal education. The schools hope that by making it easier for the engineers, scientists and mathematicians who typically take only the GRE, more of them will enroll....
Are there really that many STEM grads who are interested in law school?

(That's an interesting aspect of the post-Great Recession era - there was a lot of talk about a 'law school bubble', but it seems to me that there hasn't been the mass collapse of law schools that you would expect if the bubble had really collapsed. This 2017 report seems to suggest that enrollments are flat at best, which is not good news if you're a law school dean.) 

No C&EN this week

Double issue next week.