Monday, March 25, 2013

This week's C&EN

Lots of interesting news:
  • Beth Halford has a terribly interesting article about lithium and bipolar disorder.
  • This is a very cutesy story about Djerassi and Hoffman; it's nice to see old dudes with whimsy. 
  • Lisa Jarvis's summary of last week's AstraZeneca doings. Yikes, that's almost 5,000 pharma jobs (not just chemistry) in one week. 
  • Dow loves shale gas, planning to build more crackers. (by Michael McCoy)
    • I wonder how shale gas is going to affect overall chemist employment. It's not like laid-off pharma folks can work in shale gas, right? But I wonder if these crackers (and the R&D that's going to happen around them) will employ chemists....? 
  • Nobody's very optimistic about selling new analytical equipment at Pittcon. (by William Schulz) 
    • Are analytical chemists/analytical equipment manufacturers more sensitive to government budget problems? 


  1. Shale gas will mean the States are self-sufficient in energy and it's a lot cheaper. What this means is that manufacturing a lot of products in the States becomes a competitive venture when factoring in energy and transportation to market costs. Research relocates along with manufacturing and chemists get employed.

    We're all sitting pretty in 10-15 years once this whole process picks up steam.... $#%&

  2. What have you/readers heard about what agencies are doing in response to the sequester?
    What strategies are agencies like NSF/NIH implementing to make the necessary cuts?
    NASA is suspending all travel, and education and public outreach efforts.

    1. my apologizes but NASA is rumored to be suspending some travel, and education and public outreach efforts...
      (need to make this distinction as there is no confirmation that these are true)

    2. Most agencies are furloughing people for 22 days. That comes out to 1 day for every pay check from now through the end of FY2013. In addition, all non-essential travel, continuing education, meetings, etc are cancelled.

  3. RE Dow shale gas ventures:

    The good news: Dow does not practice slot hiring for chemists, so inorganic, organic, polymer, etc, chemists have an equal shot at finding a position, as long as they are technically competent, willing to learn on the job, and well-spoken. In some ways, a job at Dow can be like a postdoc: enter a specialist in your chosen field, leave a well-trained polymer chemist with a solid business sense. Chemists from Dow generally have pretty decent options when leaving the company, as long as they are staying in the materials science/polymer/manufacturing sector.

    The bad news: Dow does very little hiring (and I mean very little) outside of their "strategic university" network. This means good things for recent grads, but making the transition as an experienced hire can be next to impossible, unless you're coming to fill a leadership role.

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