Thursday, June 16, 2011

Request thread

Sorry for the posting schedule being a little weird here, but it's a little tough to find that quiet morning hour to post these days.

A question: what would you like to see me cover? What would you like to see me cover less?

I'll surprise no one and say that I have a general posting schedule during the week: I try to comment on anything #chemjobs-related in the latest C&EN on Monday, I talk about grad school / learning issues on Tuesday and management/boss/business issues on Thursday. Wednesday and Friday are humor/whatever days and Tuesday/Thursday is committed to the Daily Pump Trap.

Also, what long-term projects would you like me to work on for the 2011-2012 season?


  1. I like the mix that you have already.

    One idea is a post on the differences between working in the chemical industry and working in pharma.

  2. CJ, I like the format of your blogging overall. Perhaps we could use a little more coverage on alternative careers for trained chemists. It's difficult for many of us to conceive of doing something other than lab work or even chemistry-related paper pushing. Do you think there's anything wrong with "throwing away" an overly-specialized education for the sake of pursuing true passions? Back in grad school, my labmates and I would jokingly devise lists of alternate jobs, such as ninja assassin or bounty hunter. Given the direction that professional chemistry in the US is heading, the current generation of chemists-in-training may benefit from reading about chemists who are successful outside of chemistry.

  3. beer and spirits fermenting, winery owner, franchise owner, high school teacher, lab technician, water quality, food chemistry, chef, franchise owner....

    or you can try to get the US heading in the right direction... our field could really benefit from some politian chemists, lobbists

  4. "One idea is a post on the differences between working in the chemical industry and working in pharma."

    chemical industry is agressively hiring.
    pharma is agressively firing.

    doesn't that about sum it up?

  5. CJ: Hey there, have we met before?

    My own two cents - short term, I agree with Anon 6:35 and Anon 7:34, let's see some more posts on alternative careers. I'd like especially to throw my weight behind "science writer" and "chemical politician." Now, Merkel (Chancellor of Germany and a chemist) or Thatcher (England, same) might be out of your reach to interview, but there's a few folks in State and Fed legislature, if you could pull off that talk for even 5 mins, or by email.

    Long-term, I think it's time for a widget. [Fair warning: I have no idea how to do this!] You post about fresh electrons from the Unemployment surveys, but what about a fancy graph in the upper L corner, something that updated, say, stock ticks, or U6 unemployment, or something cool like that, in real time?

    Great job...Keep 'em comin'

    *Commenters! Give the man some ideas!

  6. SEO: Angela Merkel is actually studied physics as a major. She is married to a chemist (a guy who does quantum mechanic calculations for living)

    Chemjobber: I would like to ask you to cover career transitions of synthetic organic chemists away from the traditional medchem and process jobs, the sort of transition that allowed them to stay within chemistry (for example, doing spectroscopy, analysis, material science, polymenrs). It would be great if you can find people with this kind of experience and interview them. It would be also good to get more interviews from people working as contract researchers, about the way they are treated (if they are not too depressed to talk about it).

    The point is: the pharma industry cannot absorb even the fresh chemistry graduates, not mentioning people who were laid off. The contract jobs tend to be very crappy (if you can get one) and quitting chemistry altogether is sad. So if you can broaden perspective of the job seekers and give them ideas about what other kinds of careers are feasible for synthetic chemists, it would be a considerable help to many.

  7. Military Monday.

  8. legislation that drives up supply (or decreases demand) of BS/MS/PhD chemists. There may be even more PhD chemists in the US:

    The poor corporations are suffering because they cannot find scientists and engineers! Perhaps they figure out that if they hire people with experience (and heavens forbid over the age of 40!) that there are plenty of scientists and engineers in the US!

  9. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!........

    I would like some hardcore blogging on all of us being out of jobs, the country being screwed, the Western Civilization scientific system collapsing and more general DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMing.

    Thank you.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20