Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles from this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 543 positions

Chemistry Bumper Cars

Chemistry Bumper Cars have gone from See Arr Oh's Just Like Cooking blog over to Marshall Brennan's Colorblind Chemistry for the 2018-2019 season.

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 29 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 29 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Fascinating piece on STEM studies at the University of Washington

I thought this long article in the Seattle Times about the increase in STEM majors at the University of Washington was really interesting, if a bit odd in places. Here are the core facts: 
...The number of history majors nationwide is down about 45 percent from its peak in 2007, and the number of English majors has fallen by nearly half since the late 1990s, according to research by Benjamin Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University who has been documenting the trends. 
Since 2008, on the UW’s Seattle campus, the number of students studying in STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math) has increased 37 percent. Among all three campuses, it’s up 50 percent. On the main campus, non-STEM programs have declined by 13 percent. 
At UW Seattle, there are now almost as many students studying in STEM programs as in non-STEM programs. That’s a dramatic flip: Just 10 years ago, there were twice as many students in non-STEM majors as there were in STEM majors....
Because humanities classes cost less (professors are less costly, no startup packages for new laboratories, etc) and some unique budgeting rules in Washington, this shift is costing the universities money.
...It’s not true, Cherniavsky says, that there’s no job market for graduates who can write, do critical analysis or have the ability to view knowledge from diverse ethnic and cultural perspectives — a concept known as multicultural literacy. “It’s not that the corporate world has no use for these skills,” she said. Instead, companies tend not to pay much for the jobs that require them, she said.... 
...Both Microsoft and Amazon offer mentorships exclusively for College of Arts & Sciences majors. “We are using these programs not as recruitment tools, but as myth-busting,” said Matt Erickson, manager of college-to-career initiatives in the College of Arts & Sciences. 
Erickson said the UW is sometimes guilty of reinforcing the idea that only STEM degrees lead to good jobs in Seattle. But UW humanities majors have found jobs at every big tech firm in Seattle — including majors in history, English, art history, sociology, German, French and linguistics. They’ve found roles in human resources, community engagement, customer outreach and marketing, he said.
Microsoft President Brad Smith has also written about the need for tech companies to hire liberal-arts majors, particularly in artificial intelligence. “As computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important,” Smith wrote in an introduction to the book “The Future Computed.”
Brad Smith is well-known as a proponent of tech-related immigration, i.e. H1b visas. I am grimly amused that Mr. Smith is both a big fan of saying that there is a shortage of STEM workers in the United States, and that we don't have enough* liberal arts majors as well.

Overall, I don't think it's a surprise at all that people are piling into computer-oriented fields. What is the field that seems to have stable, well-paying jobs that lead to seeming riches? It seems like it's computer-related stuff more so than any other field.

*Okay, he really doesn't say that. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

View From Your Hood: smiling observer edition

Credit: @LeitchLab
Via Twitter, from the laboratory of Professor Dave Leitch: "This observant observatory watches us all day. What makes it smile? We think it’s happy about our latest results. And that the rain is gone. #EmojiIRL #UVic #ViewFromMyHood @Chemjobber @chemistryatuvic @UVicScience"

(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at; will run every other Friday.)

TIL: Radon health mines

...A half-dozen defunct gold and uranium mines south of Helena, Montana, attract ailing tourists, who bask in radioactive radon gas and drink radioactive water to improve their health. Each summer, hundreds of people, many of them Amish and Mennonites, come to the radon health mines to relax and treat arthritis, lupus, asthma and other chronic cripplers. 
With colorful names like the Sunshine Health Mine, Free Enterprise, Earth Angel, Radon Tunnel, and the Merry Widow, the mine shafts tout radon levels as much as 175 times the federal safety standard for houses. Yet, visitors claim miraculous recoveries and disease remissions in the damp, cool passages. Some have arrived in wheelchairs, then walked out on their own. 
The health mines opened in the early 1950's when little was understood about the health and hazard aspects of atomic radiation. One claim is that the gas stimulates the nerves and helps the human body heal itself. 
The typical vacation at a radon health mine lasts a week or two. Visitors are recommended to sit in the mine two or three times a day, until they hit the maximum annual exposure level designated by the state. The permitted total visit is determined by the radiation level of the particular mine. The average visitor is 72 years old. The mines appeal to "plain people," such as the Amish or the Mennonites, because of the "natural" healing aspects, the lack of commercialization, and the relatively low cost-per-hour for treatment sessions...
I think I've exposed myself to sufficient levels of ionizing radiation for one lifetime by being a reasonably frequent air traveler and a summer or two working with radioactive phosphorus. I don't think I'll be heading into the radon mines for this...

Job posting: Alchemie, Customer Success Specialist, Troy, MI

As part of the Alchemie team you will be interacting with two groups of customers, college faculty and their students. In this position you will demonstrate our Mechanisms app and Epiphany data platform to professors, through on-line demos and in-person meetings, with a goal of increasing adoption of the technology as an active learning platform for college classrooms. You will work with both faculty and students in on-boarding the technology and answering their questions as issues arise. Your subject matter expertise will be used to create new content, both by authoring new problems for mobile applications and in creating support material for student use. As part of our content team, you will also work with our researchers to produce literature for peer-reviewed publications and for our own technology blog. 
This position will put you at the forefront of educational technology, as we position Alchemie for growth by building Augmented Reality applications and advanced assessment analytics for chemistry and other STEM courses. 
We are looking for a person with strong interpersonal and communication skills, with a gift for writing and creative problem-solving. You will work side-by-side with software developers, data scientists, content specialists, and marketers to build the Community of Practice for the Alchemie technology suite. 
Chemistry or Chemistry Education degree, with a minimum of a BA/BS
Instructional experience – either through peer-led tutoring or classroom experience (organic chemistry instruction is not a requirement, but is a strong plus)
Strong technology skills, especially with Google Apps and Microsoft Office Suite
Aptitude to learn new technology platforms, such as CRM software...
Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested.  

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 285 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself) has 285 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, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 11 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 11 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

15 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 15 new positions posted for January 12.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 262 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 262 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Rest in peace, Sheri Sangji

Ten years ago today, Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji died of her injuries sustained while running a reaction with tert-butyl lithium in the laboratory of Professor Patrick Harran at UCLA. My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and her family.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 538 positions

Postdoctoral position: Pierce Lab, NC State University

Via Twitter, a postdoc at NC State: 
A funded postdoctoral position in the research group of Professor Joshua Pierce at NC State University is available to work at the interface of synthetic chemistry and infectious disease drug discovery. The position is to support a project aimed at commercialization of small molecule anti-infective agents and is currently supported for one year, with the opportunity to extend this funding based on milestones. Candidates who have an interest in commercialization and transitioning to a start-up pursing these efforts are of particular interest. 
Candidates should have a PhD in Chemistry or Chemical biology, and experience with microbiology is preferred but not required. If interested, please send a CV and list of 3 references to Professor Pierce by e-mail (subject line: Postdoc Position Application) and additional materials will be requested as necessary. Review will begin immediately with a start date in the first half of 2019 preferred. 
Joshua G. Pierce PhD
Associate Professor of Chemistry
University Faculty Scholar
NC State University
 Best wishes to those interested. 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 29 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 29 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.