Friday, June 26, 2015

"A time machine"

Credit: a Chemjobber correspondent
From the inbox, a question in a survey of graduate students in STEM from NPG. That's sort of funny, but not really. 

16 comments:

  1. The Correct answer: Accuarate, unbiased information. Seems like that is difficult to get because individuals in any system are usually shilling for themselves, even if it means ruining your career.

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    1. For that reason, yes, but also because it's very very hard to be omniscient. You'd have to have intimate knowledge of employment outcomes across the board in various chemistry subdisciplines, a working current knowledge of a pretty vast variety of industries and their employment prospects, an understanding of trends in gov't and military-related hiring, and an infallible understanding of the overall economy and how that will change over a short-to-medium-term (say 0-10 years) horizon. Most people would do well to have a fraction of this knowledge - also people tend to consider issues from their specific experiences, which is hardly objective.

      That said, I do wish we could get *better* info out of entities like the BLS on the gov't level and the ACS on the discipline level. It might also help if our government, industries, and educational institutions had a longer-term, "stewardship" mindset with regard to maintenance of the workforce and weren't so willing to disseminate outright propaganda.

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  2. It's not good pedagogical practice, but it's a survey after all: they omitted "all of the above."

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  3. All of the above, and more: a record of the recent track record of long-term job placement by the doctoral research director. After all, training in the physical sciences is supposed to directly prepare one for a career in the sciences. This is in contrast to obtaining a doctoral degree in the social sciences or the arts.

    If I can ever somehow regain a long-term academic position where publishable research is expected and realistic, then I will only be training/educating as many doctorates as can be sustained by the current job market.

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  4. Some would need a "holodeck."

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  5. Clearly the Time Machine. A few cycles of investing in APPL and I'd never have to work again. Then I'd be highly satisfied.

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  6. A patron or sponsoring organization: http://tvmedia.ign.com/tv/image/article/119/1196565/breaking-bad-20110922102109395_640w_1317007434.jpg

    Adequate funding: http://buzzerg.com/wp-content/uploads/8589130422300-breaking-bad-heisenberg-wallpaper-hd.jpg

    A competent assistant: http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120617212256/breakingbad/images/4/43/Season_2_promo_pic_4.jpg

    Job security: http://sliptalk.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/18190835/breakingbad8.jpg

    Colleagues to kick back with: http://blogs-images.forbes.com/dinagachman/files/2014/06/Breaking-Bad-Season-51.jpg

    State-of-the-art lab facilities: http://buildacampervan.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Breaking.jpg

    ...and occasionally work-related legal counsel: https://www.nrcc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Saul-Goodman-breaking-bad-spin-off.jpg

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    1. Interesting, especially because the url "https://www.nrcc.org/" from the last link leads to the campaign website of someone who is apparently opposed to carbon taxes, and other progressive issues. I bet they wish that they could return to "the bad old days".

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    2. The photos were where I found them - nothing more sinister than Google image.

      However, better the "bad old days" of yore than the far worse new era stretching out ahead.

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    3. "Climate change" is a farce. Some of the basic ideas have been floating around since *1871,* as this Brisbane Courier article from the time - debunking then current anthropogenic climate change hypotheses - illustrates.

      http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/1298497

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  7. I think a lot of former grad students would pick the time machine, so we can all get a mulligan on our twenties!

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  8. Internet-time-machine software. Set destination 30 years in future. Download papers containing novel work. Repeatedly experiments in present. Advance career and win Nobel prize.

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  9. I guess I am about to date myself, but I just have to ask. Can it be a DeLorean?

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  10. 4-wheel or roadless model? Also, Marty, be aware that maintenance and servicing might be a little hard to come by.

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  11. Roadless, without a doubt!

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    Replies
    1. And, I suppose, with flux capacitor technology, who needs a career in chemistry anyway!?

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