Thursday, November 8, 2012

Podcast: Janet Stemwedel and Chemjobber talk chemical academia

A while back, Janet Stemwedel and I had a conversation about her post on the dueling narratives between Daniel Lametti and I on the value of a science Ph.D. Shortly thereafter, she and I had a conversation on graduate school in chemistry and its current state. The conversation, lightly edited for sound, is below:

[I have to take this moment and openly apologize to Janet, in that it took me close to two months to edit the recording and post it. After editing it, I remembered what an excellent conversation it was, and it didn't deserve to languish. So, Janet, I sincerely apologize.]

[From now on, I'm going to make myself edit/post within a week.]

Some time markers:
0-8:00: Introduction
9:00: What are the odds, dear listener, that you're going to get a position as a tenure-track professor?
12:00: The pie chart of Ph.D. chemjobs, including CJ's long digression on the data that's out there on the issue.
21:30: What is the unemployment difference between a non-high-school graduate and a new Ph.D. chemist?
25:00: Will we ever get to retire?
30:00: Janet's impressive time-to-degree.
35:30: Will the problem of the Ph.D. glut be solved by less funding?
39:00: Is science academia a meritocracy? Are we good at picking people to hire?
49:00: The tough economy and larger cohorts in graduate school
55:00: Conclusions
57:00: A brief, but really important, digression into Professor Kate Clancy's sports psychology post on things that you can control, and things that you cannot. I am terribly remiss in not posting on this sooner, and I will. 

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