Friday, June 15, 2018

Pipette tips

A list of small, useful things (links):
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 good weekend!

Liquid hydrogen cyanide grenades?

But it looks so innocuous!
Credit: Reddit user why_da_herrrooo
Via Twitter, this funny/scary Reddit post from a year ago, where someone posted a picture of this object on the right, and it was found to be a Japanese hydrogen cyanide grenade from World War II.  (emphasis mine):
I let me uncle know what everyone said it probably is and he said he's surprised he's not dead. This being he said that the rubber seal had been disintegrating over the years that's why you can see flakes floating around in the picture, that the rubber seal that had been disintegrating into the bottle and he had just been re-sealing the sides with glue. He said he moved it into another location not near his house and will call some officials tomorrow on what to do with it. He's not too concerned in the meantime as he has had it on his shelf in his bedroom for the last 50 some years and nothing's happened yet.  
Thank you all for the responses he was actually planning on opening it and switching the contents to a more secure container, that's why he actually showed it to me to see what his next "project" was. You all probably saved a life so I really appreciate it!
Well, that would have been bad. Glad it worked out all right.  

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 173 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself)  has 173 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 Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List: 15 positions

The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List has 15 positions. This list is curated by Joel Walker. 

19 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 19 new positions posted for June 4.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 166 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 166 positions.

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

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Not a good mixer for drinks

Credit: David Kochman
Other potential warnings for a bottle of 2-mercaptoethanol:

1. DOESN'T SMELL GOOD
2. NOT A GOOD HAND LOTION
3. DO NOT ADD TO CHEESE DIP

Ed Breen, killer of moonshots

Also in this week's C&EN, this is quite the article about Ed Breen, current CEO of DowDuPont (article by Alex Tullo): 
DowDuPont CEO Ed Breen says he prefers small, short-term R&D projects that quickly yield marketable products to moonshots that are risky and more expensive. 
Breen took over as DuPont CEO in November 2015 and quickly inked an agreement to merge with Dow Chemical. At the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York City on May 31, Breen discussed his company’s R&D strategy. 
Breen said that he scaled back ambitious projects as soon as he was in charge at DuPont. “When I got to the company, we killed almost all of what I’d call the moonshot projects,” he said. “And, by the way, the moonshots cost the most money. I didn’t feel comfortable with most of them.” 
...Additionally, in late 2015, Breen recast DuPont’s Central R&D organization, famous in the chemical industry for its devotion to long-term projects, into a smaller organization, Science & Innovation.
Short-term profits first! I look forward to looking at his track record 5 or 10 years from now... 

This week's C&EN

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 4 positions

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 4 positions.

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

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Try the open thread.

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

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 25 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 25 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.

Friday, June 8, 2018

View From My Hood: Berkeley sunset edition

Credit: @christine_m_le
Via Twitter user @christine_m_le: "Can’t get enough of these epic sunsets at @UCB_Chemistry."

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

Where do you go, in the middle of your career?

Over at Wandering Scientist, Cloud is thinking and musing about her career:
...It isn't that my career is going badly... it is more that I feel like I've lost the plot of my career. For years, the goals I was aiming for were obvious. But right now, they aren't. I am unsure what I really want to aim for. That's OK: I have a good job at a good company, working with people I like. I don't necessarily see much scope for advancement at this particular company, but that may not actually be a problem. As one of my peer mentors pointed out today, there are other things I could do to get growth. 
The question I have to answer is: growth toward what? That is less obvious to me right now. Strangely, I think I am OK with that, too. I don't have an urgent need to change anything. I might take a little time to think about what my long term goals should be, pick some of the more low key growth ideas my peer group came up with, coast along for a bit without any urgency on them, and see which things sprout...
At this moment in my career, I don't feel the same way, in that I think I know what I am growing towards, and I know that there is a real, definite (and rather scary) set of diverging paths coming in the next three to five years. If we are successful, it will be good for us (and, I hope, good for my career.) But it could go poorly, and it wouldn't be good for us, or for me. 

What do people in the middle of their careers do? Fake-it-til-you-make-it? Strategize constantly? Pick a goal and work towards it? Or do they just keep persisting? 

(Oh, yeah, and how often do you have an existential crisis between 35 and 50? Once a year? Once a month?) 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 168 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself)  has 168 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 Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List: 15 positions

The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List has 15 positions. This list is curated by Joel Walker. 

15 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 15 new positions posted for June 4.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 161 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 161 positions.

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

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What's the outlook for IP law?

From the inbox, a good question and observation. First, what is the long-term outlook for intellectual property law for chemists (in terms of patent agent positions and IP lawyers?)

On that note, it appears that there isn't much data. You will be amused to know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics sees lawyers growing at 8% for 2016-2026. (Chemists, readers of this blog will know, are expected to grow at a rate of 6% for the same time period.) Here's a BLS paper that doesn't really have much data about the field, but might be worth a perusal anyway. 


2017: 2346
2016: 2424
2015: 2495
2014: 2799
2013: 2766
2012: 3365
2011: 2716
2010: 3120
2009: 3357
2008: 3634
2007: 3192
2006: 2923
2005: 2673

Looks like we are in a local minima? (Sure can see a lot of activity during the Great Recession!) Hard to know what this means 10 years from now. 

Anyone have a good suggestion of sites for contract synthesis work?

An anonymous person writes in, asking if there are any collaboration sites for freelance synthetic work. Does Science Exchange or any of these other sites have places for chemists to hang out their shingles?