Peter K. Dourhout:
...2. I believe that the solution to our economic woes and the employment outlook resides with us as ACS members...
...Employment Solutions. I believe that the solution to our economic woes and changing the employment outlook resides with us as ACS members. To paraphrase the comic strip character Pogo: “I have seen the solution, and it is us.” Our talented members are agents for change—no need to add new programs to ACS. Let’s rally around the things we do already to promote jobs: local section and division activities, career services, international and entrepreneurship centers, and leadership development, to name a few. I will build on the partnership with Corporation Associates and engage the Committee on Professional Training, the Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Division, the Graduate Education Advisory Board, the Leadership Institute, and the Committee on Technician Affairs in discourse and action. We can leverage what we have already to make a difference and advocate for an environment that supports jobs in the chemical sciences...William A. Lester:
...This quickly gets us to the employment sector and current realities. That times are difficult is a statement of the obvious as young people strive for employment in sectors that they have studied to work in. At the same time, we recognize that some people who work in these sectors are confronting issues of continued employment. We must work to assist in identifying optimum ways of assisting these important problem areas that impact our membership and society more broadly....Donna J. Nelson:
INSPIRING PUBLIC APPRECIATION TO ADVANCE JOBS AND CAREERS
A difficult time for chemistry. At the Dallas ACS meeting, it was reported that 16% of young chemists remain unemployed six months after graduation. In industry, many chemists have experienced employment problems for years. ACS can’t directly create new jobs to solve these problems, but we ACS members can deduce and address factors that destabilize STEM employment.
The balance between STEM jobs and job candidates is out of equilibrium for multiple reasons. First, in the Sputnik years of the 1960s, there were too few chemists. We met the challenge but later ignored the fact that mergers and outsourcing decreased jobs. Second, the media influenced public opinion against STEM, causing a decrease in STEM funding and ultimately its available jobs. Third, chemistry is increasingly a global community and enjoys drawing the best and brightest from across the world. The impact of all of these must be addressed now.
Appreciation produces jobs. Chemists’ creativity gave the world vital benefits and luxuries, and producing future benefits and luxuries is dependent upon our continued creativity. But this is possible only if science is appreciated and funded sufficiently to employ them. Most chemistry jobs are and will continue to be in industry, which needs public appreciation and support to thrive. This support will foster balanced regulations, greater funding for research, and more jobs for chemists. Increasing employment for chemists will enhance education, the work environment, meetings, publications, and research—improving employment in academe, government, and elsewhere. But the general public is not familiar enough with chemistry to appreciate and support chemists as they deserve to be so that chemistry will thrive. I will find opportunities for this to improve.Readers, if you have questions that you'd like me to ask, I would be willing to contact the candidates like I did last year.