Thursday, February 21, 2013

Quick hits

Other things I'd like to note:
  • I am hearing a rumbling of a recent set of small company pharma/biotech-related layoffs in the RTP region of North Carolina -- has anyone heard that? UPDATE: Like the idiot I am, I failed to note that David Perrey ran with part of this two days ago. Sincere apologies for not seeing it in my RSS feed, David. 
  • There has been a raft of "too many PhDs" news recently:
    • Yet more rumblings, this time from Nature Jobs, about changing the nature of the Ph.D. 
    • A report from Science Careers' Michael Price on a recent panel at the AAAS meeting, including the suggestion from Prof. Gregory Petsko that life science postdocs get paid $55,000 in order to cut supply. 
    • The Inside Higher Ed post on similar doings, covering Paula Stephan's broad review of fields. I note that computer scientists and physicists are having their issues, too. 
    • Finally, a really fantastic overview from The Atlantic's Jordan Weissman about recent Survey of Earned Doctorate data, including this nicely done graph of physical science Ph.D.s. (to right.)
It's that "nothing" trend that I find really bothersome. (I wonder if there will be statistical pushback? Time to consult my copy of "How Economics Shapes Science.") 

10 comments:

  1. Are you talking about Transtech Pharma? A friend of mine is gone from his post.

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    1. Yes, I am. Do you know how many people were let go?

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    2. A friend of mine was way up, so he is done. I do not know about others. Understand that even during best of time.. they had "floating chemists" but with Pfizer yanking out of the deal, we all pretty much knew that the shit is going to hit the fan!

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  2. Nothing is overtaking has a job pretty quickly. I guess there aren't enough scientists out there to make a real political pushback? This might be where the ACS could be really useful.

    There was also a story on NPR's Morning Edition this week about too many PhDs. It's worth a listen as well.

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  3. To be honest, I'm a little worried about that "postdoc" line as well. Is a trend developing in which a student enters grad school then remains in academic limbo without a real career for 10-20 years after? And their first job comes when they are in their mid 30s?

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  4. TransTech's sister company, Pharmacore, cut 25 chemists.

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    1. I think it's terribly interesting that this hasn't made the local news. E-mailing people now...

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    2. It's not in RTP....'bout an hour or so away. This isn't the first cut at TransTech.

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  5. Hey CJ I just thought you'd seen my post to make that connection. :)

    The other one, for those that haven't made it over there was Grifols in RTP (biotech rather than pharma), who bought Talecris a while back. Been lay-offs before and thought they were done, but let go some more R&D in the last week.

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  6. I met some people last fall that were looking for work after a Grifols restructuring. I even had an interview in December at Grifols cancelled day of due to a change in their R & D budget. I would not be surprised if there is more bad news.

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