Looking through the chemistry Reddit last night, I see someone linked Josh Bloom's N.Y. Post article on science, pharma and outsourcing. In the comments were a few statements that I thought I would run by my readership:
From one redditor:
Careful, only some jobs are at risk -- those in pharmaceuticals. Not even all of those are at risk. Computational chemists are in high demand for work in pharma.
...Pharma is towards computational methods of R&D versus combinatorial/high-throughput because of the very virtue that it is cheaper, and has high reward potential.
Why so hard to believe? It makes sense for a company to invest a rather small amount of time and money for preliminary computational work, than to invest a larger amount of time and money to develop new therapeutics. I think time is the more convincing argument, simply due to the fact that companies race against each other to produce something viable.I am under the impression that:
- There are far fewer computation slots at pharma companies than bench chemistry slots. (Perhaps things are changing, post-outsourcing?) The maximum ratio of computational to bench chemists seems to be far below 1:1 and closer to 1:5 or 1:10.
- There hasn't been any major uptick in hiring of computationalists for pharma in the last two or three years. Maybe I'm wrong?
I'm defining a computational chemist as someone who sits behind a desk, does not have a hood in the lab, does docking studies, etc. ACS statistics don't drill down that far, so there's that,too.
Readers, doubtless I'm incorrect about something. Comments? E-mails?