Monday, November 5, 2012

Chemjobber welcomes ACS leadership to early 2009

Chemical and Engineering News is running its annual employment issue. I'll be covering it more tomorrow, but I am taking the following passage from Linda Wang's truly excellent story on unemployment in chemistry as a sign that this blog (and its truly excellent readership) was ahead of the curve and that the leadership of the American Chemical Society was behind:
The impact of this recession has been unlike that of previous recessions. “The fact is that the number of jobs has declined,” says Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, president of the American Chemical Society. And the usual methods for obtaining a new job aren’t working. “If the jobs aren’t there,” Shakhashiri says, “no matter how much you network, you’re not going to find them.” 
“The situation today is a tragedy of national proportions,” says Madeleine Jacobs, ACS executive director and chief executive officer. “It’s devastating to individual lives, and it’s devastating to this country.”
More in the AM, but I just want to point out that we have NEVER heard this kind of language from ACS leadership. Welcome to Chemjobber, my friends -- I suggest you start at entry 1. 


  1. This article about moving away from family really was gut wrenching.

    As I was reading it, the worst part about it was suddenly made clear: after years of denying greater trends in the chemical industry, ACS just unleashed the floodgates and dumped 4 years of bad news on us all at once.

  2. What? We can't all just become entrepeneurs?

  3. The article is sad, but I hate to point it out that those people are still more fortunate than many of us. At least they have work. They should do an article on all clinically depressed unemployed and underemployed, and how many marriages this has ended.

    I've invested 9 years in college+grad, 4 years as a postdoc, and all I have to show for it is a pile of publications and $80k in student loan debt. I haven't been home to visit family in 4 years, because of my insane work schedule/lack of vacation and the costly plane ticket. Today, I am still making less than a first year elementary school teacher, and working twice as much. Chemistry makes for a horrible path in life. I was smart enough to graduate college with a perfect 4.0, but not smart enough to foresee the faults in this horrible field that I've chosen to pursue.

  4. Chemjobber, you've been light years ahead of the curve for some time. I still remember your metric of square inches of C&EN jobs ad space. You were talking about this before most even realized there was a problem.

    I'm curious - you've seen the chemistry jobs situation from a vantage point few chemists have. What should ACS be doing to help its membership?

    Assume ACS is now in the mood to try something bold to address the chemjobs situation - something it's never done before. Something that could change the rules of the game. Maybe even something with a significant element of financial/existential/credibility risk.

    What would it be?

    I have some half-baked ideas of my own, but I'd really like to know yours.