Friday, June 29, 2012

It's not just scientists that suffer when sites shut down

David Kroll offers a lovely eulogy for the Roche Nutley site at CENtral Science:
My nostalgia for Roche extends back to my childhood, growing up on a hill five miles across the Passaic River in the predominantly Polish town of Wallington. From a clearing in the woods on the hill, the major landmark across into Essex County was the Roche tower, built the year before I was born and known by the unglamorous name of Building 76. The route my family took while driving back from the official state pastime of mall shopping invariably took us past the Roche campus on the Route 3 side. This drive past Roche from the west was preceded immediately by a glorious view of the New York City skyline, almost straight on with the Empire State Building. Whenever I see these two landmarks, I know that I’m almost home. 
My Uncle Tommy was a facilities maintenance worker at Roche for about 30 years. Readers here are certainly concerned about the loss of scientist jobs – but Roche provided upward mobility for high school and GED graduates like my uncle. 
I think that's an unfortunate side product of our new, shrinking R&D reality. With large research campuses come many relatively well-paid support positions -- the administrative assistant, the technician, the dishwasher, etc. If our R&D future consists of smaller companies where the scientists wear many hats, there will be fewer jobs of that sort. Sure, that can sometimes mean higher productivity levels, but one has to acknowledge the human cost. 

4 comments:

  1. I feel really sorry for all the Roche people that have lost their jobs. The Roche management are bastards.
    However, it's not just the company losses, the loss of revenue for those businesses round about will also be significant. The taxi drivers, external suppliers, restaurants etc. These people will also suffer as will the whole community through loss of taxes etc.
    Unfortunately this is forgotten.
    These Bigs companies should be made, by the national government, to pay huge fines for each job that is lost, and I mean HUGE perhaps then they (the high and mighty managers) might think about others before wielding the axe.
    I hate managers and MBa's.

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  2. Time to put on my plumber hat and go fix the toilet, that testing will have to wait.

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  3. I feel we're taking great strides towards Weber's vision of Haven with its hereditary political class and general populace living of dole.

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  4. That'll teach us to trust the Swiss...or Northern Californians for that matter!

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