Monday, August 13, 2012

Chemjobber's newest #chemjobs hero: Nelson Marans

From this week's C&EN, someone else notices the irony of elected officials calling for more scientists and engineers:
As a retired chemist who is fortunately no longer subject to the vagaries of the employment market, I was still appalled by both the high unemployment figures for chemists and the low starting salaries (C&EN, June 4, page 36). 
Chemistry graduates face one of the most daunting curricula at a college or university, one that requires intellectual and practical skills. They now encounter a high unemployment rate, as well as a low starting salary. While “only” 17% are unemployed and 14% actively looking for employment, these figures are warped by the high percentage of those who, whether by choice or necessity, have chosen to go to graduate school, leaving only 23% permanently employed. At the Ph.D. level, the numbers are not much more encouraging. 
The irony is that there is a demand from Congress and the executive branch to graduate a larger number of technically trained students. The question to ask is, for what purpose? Is it to increase the already excess numbers of such students? Are we becoming a nation of overeducated and underemployed people? 
I hope not, but signs indicate that this is what is occurring. 
By Nelson Marans
Silver Spring, Md.
Best wishes to Mr. (Dr.?) Marans, who seems to be enjoying his retirement writing letters to the editor.


  1. Hopefully a steady stream of letters like this from actual chemists will expose Jacobs' corporate propaganda for what it is.

  2. C&EN printed a token dissent letter. So what?

    1. Well, obviously, we should print it out, photocopy it about 5,000 times and spread it through regional or national ACS meetings like so many samizdat from behind the Iron Curtain, before it's banished and the responsible editor placed in the Journal of Natural Products gulag.

      (Sorry, feeling cheeky.)

    2. one does not make jokes about this sort of thing. Employment situation is hard enough even for chemists who are not already blacklisted. And you can poke ACS in the eye until they send Chinese albino monk to silence you for good.

    3. Yes, I should apologize in some sense for equating #chemjobs and the ACS to the real killing machine that was/is capital-C Communism.

      That my jokes automatically revert to Soviet-era jokes shows my true nature as a Cold Warrior.

  3. I recommend a review of Rocky 4. 3? No, 4. " During this fight, I've seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that's better than twenty million. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change! "