Thursday, July 3, 2014

The official ACS policy on element mugs

Thanks to a discussion on Twitter on the ACS's super-fun element mugs (and how I've never received one, among other things), I received a helpful e-mail from ACS's Chris McCarthy, who contacted their membership marketing team:
ACS currently provides members with element anniversary mugs for years 1 to 6.  Any member who is current on dues is eligible to receive one for their appropriate years of membership approximately four months prior to their annual anniversary date of joining ACS. ACS does acknowledge that sometimes the mug packages do not reach their final destinations due to address or delivery issues, and are occasionally subject to breakage. If a member hasn’t received one, or received one that was broken, the member should message ACS Member Services at service@acs.org.
Considering that I miiiiight not have been current in years 1-6 of membership, that may have played a role. Ah, well, live and learn. But I was really hoping for that ever exclusive bromine mug. 

31 comments:

  1. I got a plastic water bottle this year, not a mug.

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    1. The Aqueous LayerJuly 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      I've been a member for 20 years and have never received a single item from the ACS other than a bill.

      Delete
  2. Was it organic and BPA-free?

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  3. All I ever got from the ACS during my 35 year membership were ever escalating dues and journal bills. I quit when it became overwhelmingly apparent that the ACS actively works against the best interests of its industrial members. I just could no longer support the ACS in that mission.

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  4. Anyone who joins ACS IS a mug.

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  5. This whole mug business sounds like a Freudian slip an ACS's part, - seeing how they mug their members.

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  6. Thanks for the tip CJ!

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  7. what is the average age of chemists in the US? At what age do most get out and what do they do if they get out before full retirement?

    Just looking for some insider info...thanks.

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    1. Honestly, I would say 21-28. Most people are out of the field in some shape or form by their early 30's due to the nature of the field (poor employment prospects, layoffs and terrible career outlook). I basically got at age 28.

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    2. In 50 and still in, as a poorly-paid research associate.

      My advice to anybody: if you are very creative and love being in the lab, get a PhD in the natural sciences, like chemistry. If you are not quite that but a woman or a minority (not a white guy), its probably still safe. If you are an intelligent but not a brilliant white guy, dont do it. Ive noted there is reasonably good employment for minority/females, most of the time, in certain systems (ie, Community Colleges and big Pharma often have an agenda to hire minorities or women). If you are a smart but not a brilliant white guy, it's very risky. You could be underemployed and bitter the rest of your life.

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    3. *got out at age 28

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    4. I got out of chemistry at 28. A friend of mine, PhD with 5 years Postdocs, left at 40 and went into real estate.

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  8. ACS membership is a big waste of time and money. I was a member long enough to receive "two" trophy mugs. I believe they are hydrogen and lithium. Anyhow, they keep sending me these letters almost every month asking me to rejoin and I just pitch them in the trash as I do the credit card offers. ACS is a joke.

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  9. Anon2:02: What exactly are you looking for? The median age of ACS members is in 40+, but those are ACS members, not necessarily all chemists in the US.

    Also how are you defining "chemist", i.e. works as a bench chemist, or is a chemistry professor, etc., etc.?

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  10. Dr. Jaded BittermanJuly 3, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    The only reason to have an ACS membership is to reduce the conference fee. This affords you the ability to go and give your talk to a room with only the moderator and other speakers in attendance. You peruse the program and realize all your old classmates and colleagues have since left the field, so you go to the poster session to pick up some fresh meat. Now it's time to hit the bars to spend that per diem. Voila, now you have another line on your CV or another benchmark for your annual report. A year passes and you're reminded of your triumphs with a box filled with broken mug. Don't forget the submission deadline for the next meeting. The system works!

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    1. This is the most accurate description I have seen of the ACS.

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  11. I love all this ACS hate.
    Remember when CJ did the alternate STEM acronym contest? Can we do that with ACS?

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    Replies
    1. Asinine Chemistry-themed Shards
      Adult Careers, Stillborn

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    2. Asinine Cock Suckers

      Asshole Crap Sellers

      Advancing Costly Subscriptions

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    3. Harsh. But, I agree with all of them.

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  12. Alternative careers sought

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  13. Another costly shakedown?

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    Replies
    1. Don't literally agree, but still funny/clever.

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  14. Hey I know this is an old thread, but I was inspired by the ACS mug designs to make my own to sell. Check out my shop here: http://www.zazzle.com/collections/chemistry_element_mugs-119242359872303669

    If anyone reads this, please let me know what you think of the designs!

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    Replies
    1. It appears you have some image permissions issues to work out: https://twitter.com/BadPhysics/status/723957087265398785

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Thanks for the heads-up. I tried to get all of my images from open-source Wikimedia commons pages or similar to make sure that wasn't an issue, but it looks like I misunderstood exactly how that works. Looking closer, it appears maybe I just need to give proper image attribution in the product description for many of these. If I had my own photos of each element, I would definitely use them instead!

      Also unfortunately they are a bit pricey; but I do not have much control over that due to the way this and similar "turnkey" design companies operate. My profit per item is pretty low compared to the overall price. All I can say is, watch for deals offered by Zazzle!

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    4. I have taken the storefront offline until I can resolve this issue. Once again, thanks for the heads-up. What did you think of the mugs themselves?

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