Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One raised eyebrow

In this week's C&EN, an article detailing ACS members' efforts to lobby Congress for more research funding. And what do we read from one of those members?
“I passionately believe that the voice of the scientific community needs to be heard by politicians... Scientific innovation is a key engine that drives the U.S. economy and is vital for our nation’s global competitiveness.”
Good sentiments, one that I might agree with. Who said it?:
[ACS Committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs] member Hui Cai of San Diego, who is vice president of corporate alliances at WuXi AppTec, a global contract research organization. 
Calling WuXi AppTec a "global contract research organization" is sort of like calling the Department of  Defense a "global protective services provider."

Yes, WuXi owns a few facilities in the United States. But let us call it for what it is: a Chinese outsourcing firm that (with its willing Big (and sometimes, small!) Pharma partners) has transferred many medicinal chemistry jobs from the US to China. I find terribly ironic that one of WuXi's employees is lobbying Congress for research funding; doubtless, it's a good deal for WuXi, in that many of their top employees have been trained with US funding. 

13 comments:

  1. Has Wuxi transferred ANY jobs from the US to the PRC? I don't recall it having too many research positions to be moved......It's the big (and small!) pharma partners that have transferred jobs to China, Wuxi just makes it a bit easier.

    This is a great example of Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage. The US is good at educating scientists, but not so good at producing low cost goods. The PRC is good at producing low cost goods, but doesn't have stellar universities (yes, I know there are some good ones). As long as Americans remain happy to keep subsidizing the education of our competitors we'll continue to maximize economic profits. The distribution of these profits, well, that's another matter....

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  2. Hui Cai, note to self - re: Chemjobber

    50 whips, I think.

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    Replies
    1. I assume you mean 'lashes'.

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    2. Remember, I am a Chinese.

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    3. I'd take the whips over the lashes if I were you with one lash from each whip. Those cheap, inferior and mass produced whips will arrive with half of them not working, and the other half breaking after just a few lashes. This way you'd be better off than if you were using a properly made American whip, like the one in the Indiana Jones movies. You would be guaranteed to be lashed 50 times then. If you want to know who to trust, then look to Saudi Arabia who only buy American whips for all their Sharia punishment needs and not the cheap Chinese imitation.

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  3. What if? What if, this hearing was held in China? Here is what Mr. Hu Cai would have said.. “I passionately believe that the voice of the Chinese scientific community in the US need to be heard by Communists... Scientific innovation (stealing technology, outsourcing etc.) is a key engine that drives the Chinese economy and is vital for our nation’s global competitiveness.”

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    Replies
    1. You are poorly informed as well as rather insulting. Hui Cai has a Ph.D., oh and she is a woman, so 'Mr.' is not appropriate on two counts. Also she is American who works in the US so why would she address a hearing in China?

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    2. American science has been handed over to MBAS long agp which is the prary reason why innovation is suffering from lack of vision by these MBAs. These MBAs are essentially bean counters. How can a bean counter lead innovation ? He never touched a test tube in the lab and neither designed nor conducted a scientific experiment in a lab.

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    3. @anonymous 2:55 pm

      Yeah she sounds real "American", whatever that means anymore.

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    4. From the WuXi web page www wuxiapptec com / com_mngmnt html, it says of Hui Cai: "Over 11 years’ experience in drug discovery (Johnson & Johnson PRD), strategic planning, business development, and portfolio management; formerly President of Inflexion BioPartners and Vice President of Corporate Development at HUYA Bioscience. B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from Peking University, Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute, and M.B.A. from UCSD Rady School of Management." The degrees from Peking U suggest that she came to the US from China for grad school at Scripps (Boger group?).

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  4. I'll put a new slant on this by saying "No Comment".

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  5. So, if one wanted to demonstrate the negative impact of med chem outsourcing the way it is being conducted, what would be the best strategy?

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