One thing that I thought I would point out (in repetition of See Arr Oh) is how M&A activity has affected academic organic chemistry in a mundane but still quite profound manner. (See right). I've stricken the names of companies that have been bought out or otherwise closed -- it's quite the remarkable list, on the 1997 side.
While we can argue about the benefits of M&A activity for society at large (future CJ and his Roth IRA may be benefiting), it is abundantly clear to me that the track record of M&A for the bench-level chemist is no good at all.
[Does anyone have the back story to what happened to the DOC fellowships? (Apart from the obvious, that is the funding companies went away.) What's the benefit of funding one of these? Just goodwill in the community and prestige?]