Monday, April 27, 2015

This week's C&EN

Interesting bits from this week's C&EN:

14 comments:

  1. It would be possible to intellectually wade into the climate change debate. But more important is the fact that ALL letters which are published in C & E N conform with the majority opinion of the people who pull the strings within the ACS. The corollaries of that are:
    (a) since ACS allows opposing opinions to be published on climate change, then the organization does not have an overall opinion about the subject in one direction or the other.
    And:
    (b) Absolutely NO letters are published in C & E N which discuss the issue of over-production of PhD chemists. I know for a fact that such letters have been refused publication, i..e. censored. Therefore the ACS honchos do, indeed have a majority opinion on this subject. What would that opinion be?

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    1. http://cen.acs.org/articles/89/i11/PhD-Chemists.html

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    2. CJ,
      Could you describe what this link is about? Non-ACS members can't read the content.

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    3. 3 letters discussing Beth Halford's 2011 article about the potential overproduction of Ph.D.s.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Ops I stand corrected! That was back in 2011, right? Does that time count as being part of the economic depression? Is there a chance that that time also coincides with the temporary interlude in the C & E N baumopoly? Just asking.

      It would be relevant to know if there are any more recent examples of letters to the editor on the topic, i.e. from the past two years.

      BTW, Bad Wolf, for better or worse, isn't Baum still alive? If not, then let's stick him in a hole in the ground, as opposed to cremating him (less air pollution).

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    6. Baum should definitely be sequestered (in a responsible manner). AFAIK he is very much alive, enjoying his six-figure+ pension, probably waiting for C&EN to send out the call for White Male Authority once the Latina stumbles somehow. I wonder how much extra he makes for those curtain calls?

      Anyway, remember Rudy's a med school dropout, Medellin J has a BS. Both making more in retirement than most PhD chemists make at the top of their careers. So whenever you need career advice or an authoritative opinion on the Great Issues of Our Day, you know who to go to.

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  2. The Ghost of Rudy Baum, shaking its clammy finger at us all. "Climate change!" the wind howls. "Climate change!" This accompanied by pictures of his (paid?) vacation to Antarctica. I don't remember whether his editorials mentioned the climate change caused by air travel in those cases.

    CJ's link above mentions the climate change ACS and Rudy should have been on top of--the business climate.

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    1. "Only there's skins you never bothered with--!" For the comics fans out there: Something i am reminded of whenever i think of Rudy's fiddling while the employment numbers burned.

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    2. Bad Wolf, your sense of humor and irony is great! What I miss in this dialogue is the intention on the part of the participants to tangify their contributions into ACTION.

      For example, just yesterday, as I have already alluded to, the NFL just had its non-profit status REVOKED. What about the ACS? If the ACS had its status revoked, then it could no longer afford the outrageous salaries of Baum, that Dupont CEO and the other wonks. They would have to find work with a publishing house.

      I will correct my prior suggestion on waiting until the demise of Baum before sticking him in a hole in the ground....

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  3. The first two letters are from deniers, the first of whom makes two false claims in his second paragraph (out of two claims, mind you). The third is someone whining about a Concentrate blurb not containing enough data (duh). Am I to conclude that ACS's strings are being pulled by climate deniers and their corporate supporters?

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    1. Hi Chad,
      Actually, both CJ and I know some climate change deniers who hold office within the ACS. And of course there are others within the organization who are firm believers in man-made climate change. I am asking if the reason for which this topic is very non-taboo is because neither of those two parties has the upper hand within the organization.

      On the other hand, beyond the instance which CJ has pointed out, I'm not aware of any debate between, e.g. STEM-shortage proponents and the representatives of unemployed chemists within the pages of C & E N. Get it? Or are you making a different point?

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    2. I understand your point. My point is that C&EN not only subcribes to "faux balance" with respect to its letters concerning climate change, but actually seems to publish more denier-garbage than letters confirming the consensus. And they clearly don't do any fact checking, or they'd have just tossed these letters in the trash. Why give a forum to people who write things that are simply not true and/or illogical?

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    3. Aha. The answer to your metaphorical question is straightforward: because if Baum et al were ever scientists in the first place, then they stopped being so a long time ago. They are now just journalists, beholden to the corporations which provide them with their paychecks.

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