Wm. Charles Jamison’s letter was spot-on (C&EN, April 15, page 2). The top priority for the American Chemical Society should be to improve the job market and benefits for U.S. chemists and biochemists at all levels. We are going through a painful period in which too many chemists are unemployed, unemployable because of their age, or just underemployed.
It makes no sense to make it a priority to bring in foreign chemists given these problems. I encourage ACS to lobby hard to maximize job opportunities for U.S. chemists and to defend their benefits from further erosion. In some cases, retraining to fit certain job opportunities may be required, but this should nonetheless take priority over bringing in foreign chemists.
In the past, ACS has not given high enough priority to improving the job market for those who choose a career in chemistry in the U.S. I hope the society will adjust its priorities.
Michael G. Henk
Jamison’s letter was refreshing. I loved his statement: “If ACS really exists to serve its membership—rather than large institutions such as major universities and multinational companies that principally want a bottomless pit of cheap labor—it is time to consult with other scientific societies and learn their views on the current employment outlook.” Amen, Mr. Jamison!
John ConnollyI agree with Mr./Dr.(?) Henk that employment for ACS members should be the number 1 issue for the society. I suspect, from a dollars-and-cents perspective, that it is not.