Monday, November 17, 2014

Well, the e-mails and the ads worked: Donna Nelson is your 2015 ACS President-Elect

Via Twitter:
Donna J. Nelson is the 2015 @AmerChemSociety president-elect.  Full story coming soon.
I thought it was interesting that this was the first year that 1) one of the candidates (Professor Nelson) sent e-mail blasts to vote for her and 2) both she and Professor Dorhout ran ads in print editions of C&EN.

I am a little bit concerned that this will usher in a new wave of spam into our inboxes...

21 comments:

  1. I was actually put off by the large number of emails and constant reminders of the "Breaking Bad" connection. I hope she backs up what she says about public relations. But, I don't think she helped chemistry's image much with that show. Yes, it was a great show but now, as an organic chemist, people ask me more if I can make meth than I can make life saving drugs.

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  2. @anon To which we reply - of course. But we do it because we love it, not for the money, right?

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  3. I too was turned off by the incessant emails and ads in C&ENews. I gladly voted for one of the other candidates largely as a response to her aggressive campaigning. I think this sets a terrible precedent.

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  4. Well, hey:

    I publicly endorsed Donna Nelson to my chemistry-colleagues because of her platform on employment, which recognized the current plight of many chemists, and much more than her competitors did. One of the three candidates couldn't even post a statement of CJ's employment blog.

    I don't even care about advertising, aggressive or otherwise. We all have to advertise, one way or another, to be successful in our careers. However, I do think that it’s important that a candidate advertise those areas which would become future policy cornerstones, as opposed to unrelated topics only serving the purpose of getting them elected (our “real” politicians are notorious in this regard). As highly educated and well-informed individuals (at least I hope so), it should be OUR responsibility to remind the candidates that they must follow through on their platform, because we judge them on their platforms.

    Although Donna Nelson's policy suggestions were not as concrete and realistic as I would have wished, electing a candidate who makes employment the PRIMARY issue is a MAJOR step for the ACS. The next steps for her might include:
    a. to put together a coherent policy which will realistically address the job market - applicant pool balance.
    b. re-focus the ACS on the interests of the US-American members. Never thought that I’d sound like a knee-jerk patriot, but why should anyone in their native country be disadvantaged in the job market? Contrast the very recent advertisement on the ACS website for a manager in the “IACS” program (“IACS” = International American Chemical Society).
    c. (c) Insure a continuity –that means beyond the 1-year-term- of the ACS prioritizing employment for its native members.
    d. Establish a group of policy advisors who will be able to assist in achieving these goals in an impartial manner.
    e. Seek feedback from members regarding the intended policies.
    f. Influence the overly-well-paid “Board of Directors” to stick up for members, and NOT the ACS Publishing Corporation.

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    1. "The next steps for her might include..."

      But probably won't. The ACS presidency is an honorific...and a pretty lame one at that.

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    2. Re item f: http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-latest-acs-form-990.html

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    3. Sounding the alarm about diminishing returns on STEM education and a downsized American workforce? That sounds like something with a high-profile position at the ACS... someone who's read every single week.... could do.

      Or, they could spend all their time pontificating about global warming.

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    4. My quick response:

      Anon 8:51 wrote: “But probably won't. The ACS presidency is an honorific...and a pretty lame one at that.”. Did you even read my post before writing that? Yes, it’s easy to do nothing from the cloak of anonymity. On the other hand, if enough of us were to insist that our society represent the working US chemist, then Donna Nelson would have to act on our behalf. The same is indirectly true of the excessively well-paid board of directors.

      “bad wolf”: Yes, this is a very good point. Again, this is something which we could address through new president.

      Finally, a friend/colleague in Germany pointed out the following advert from IACS. It was even blatantly obvious to someone over there. This is an example of powers within the ACS who are clearly NOT working to the advantage of (North) American chemists:

      ACS on Campus Lands in Mumbai in November

      Later this month, ACS on Campus will travel to Mumbai, the most populous city in India and the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. We'll be offering a full day of sessions at the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, this Friday, November 21, covering the scholarly publishing process, graduate study and research collaboration abroad, career pathways in the sciences, and more!

      The event starts Friday, November 21, at 9:00 AM. Free food and drinks will be provided; due to limited seating, admittance will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Read full module descriptions here. We'll see you on campus!

      It is programs like this, which we need to vigorously oppose to Donna Nelson and the board of directors. The exchange of chemistry students from Europe and North America is a 2-way street, because salaries and benefits in both economic regions are comparable. This is not the case for smuggling economic refugees from the third world. What does this do for our long-term job opportunities and salaries? Duh.

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  5. For this position, we could have elected a brick and not noticed any difference in our day-to-day lives. That said, the Breaking Bad lady's campaigning was obnoxious.

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  6. Dear CJ, please do not worry. I give you my word, this is the last you all will hear from her.

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  7. I had one conversation with Nelson in the late 90s when she was on a campaign to document minorities in chemistry. She included me on a list of a specific minority group after I asked her not to. I never checked that box on any grant applications.

    I enjoyed the writing and acting on Breaking Bad. Most of the chemistry was inaccurate, but it wasn't a documentary, and it wasn't so bad that I cringed instead of enjoying the show. The methyl amine route to meth worked dramatically, but not so much chemically. I'm sure the Feds didn't want the home audience cooking their own batches based on accurate preps.

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  8. I couldn't bring myself to vote for any of the Presidential Candidates. ACS should provide a None of the Above option.

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  9. 1) I was a %$^& and forgot to vote. I liked Dr. Nelson because she didn't tell us that the bad job market was our fault, but that and $1.28 will get me a refill at Speedway. Apparently, considering how the elections went, I voted in the wrong one.

    2) Dr. Li Wu also spammed (some) before her election. The first time the media blitz worked (that I knew of) was when Catherine Hunt got elected. Just like negative campaigning, as long as it works....

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  10. Does anyone know what happened to In The Pipeline?

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    1. I've been having problems too, although I think it may have something to do with my company's web browser (very old internet explorer). It worked fine at home.

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    2. I also got an unsolicited email from one of the other candidates. I don't remember who other than he was male and apparently attended my university at some point (which may be why he could email me)? It was full of unintelligible stuff about the university culture, which is pretty much irrelevant to grad students and postdocs, and football/sports stuff. Anyway, out of the two irritating spam messages I much preferred Prof Nelson's. #grumpy

      FWIW I think Breaking Bad helped chemistry's image. My students were pretty excited by it, and I can't see how it implies bad statements about chemists in general.

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    3. I can't get it to open either. I get a similar error.

      Fatal error: Call to undefined function: str_split() in /home/corante/public_html/index.php(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code on line 1

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  11. When I try to bring it up, I've gotten "Fatal error: Call to undefined function: str_split() in /home/corante/public_html/pipeline/connect.php(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code on line 1"

    OK, apparently Firefox brings it up OK, so MS Exploder must be doing something funny. Sorry.

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    1. Did you ever track down the cause of the error in IE, because I'm still getting exactly the same problem.

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