Friday, September 21, 2018

Hotel coffee cups

A list of small, useful things (links):
An open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring you millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

Have a good weekend!

Request: your favorite laptop bag

I need your help. I bought this Samsonite laptop bag (17 inch) sometime last year. It's beginning to fall apart now. It gets daily use and has been to other continents and back, and for something that I paid less than fifty bucks for, it's not a bad value.

However, the stitching on the main strap is beginning to fall apart at the seams, which makes taking this bag to Europe and the like a little risky. Anyone have a suggestion for a great laptop bag? Needs to be able to hold a ridiculously large laptop (14 inch screen) and a raft of paper that never gets looked at, and also a couple of larg-ish notebooks.

Readers, what do you use? (I'm pretty set on a laptop bag, as opposed to a laptop backpack.) I'd like to not buy one for a while, so my wallet is a little more open than normal. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 205 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself) has 205 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 6 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 6 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

Job postings: medicinal chemistry, Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA

From the inbox, two positions at The Broad Institute: 
Research Scientist II - Organic Chemistry (Ph.D. w/"3+ years of research experience beyond postdoctoral training in an academic or industrial setting") 
We are looking for a highly motivated and talented chemist within CDoT to support advancement of compounds from PRISM screening. The PRISM multiplex screening platform efforts are yielding many hits with provocative predictive biomarkers and patterns of sensitivity.  This position will be part of a multidisciplinary team challenged with identifying the targets and mechanism of action of these hit compounds, and advancing the compounds to later stages of drug discovery.  
Ideally you will have experience establishing SAR for chemical probes and having contributed to project teams at early stages from Target and Hit Identification through Lead Optimization. You will work closely with other chemists, cell biologists, biochemists, structural and biophysical scientists and pharmacologists. Having dual reporting structures into Chemistry and Translation Science, you will play a key role in driving projects forward within CDoT at the Broad Institute.
Also, this Group Leader position (Ph.D., w/7+ years of research experience in an industrial setting):
We are looking for a highly motivated scientist to lead and mentor a team of medicinal chemists focused on discovering novel small molecule therapeutics across a diverse disease portfolio. The successful candidate will join The Center for the Development of Therapeutics and lead a team of professional scientists at the interface of industry and academia.  
The candidate will work closely with biochemists, structural and biophysical scientists, cell biologists and pharmacologists, to rapidly progress therapeutic projects in partnership with academic scientists and industrial partners. The successful applicant will have the unique opportunity to impact both the strategy and execution of multiple therapeutic programs driven by the novel genetic and biological insights being discovered at the Broad Institute.
More Broad Institute positions here. Best wishes to those interested.  

The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List: 32 positions

The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List has 32 positions. This list is curated by Joel Walker. 

19 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 19 new positions posted for September 18.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 223 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 223 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hmmmmm, the economy

California: "Housing market falters for fourth straight month", Inventory up 17.2% YoY 
California’s housing market dropped below the 400,000-level sales benchmark for the first time in more than two years as high home prices and eroding affordability combined to cut into housing demand, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today... 
....While home prices continued to rise modestly in August, the deceleration in price growth and the surge in housing supply suggest that a market shift is underway,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “We are seeing active listings increasing and more price reductions in the market, and as such, the question remains, ‘How long will it take for the market to close the price expectation gap between buyers and sellers?’”  
...Statewide active listings rose for the fifth consecutive month after 33 straight months of declines, increasing 17.2 percent from the previous year. August’s listings increase was the biggest in nearly four years. 
What does the economy look like for you? Are we close to the top, or is there still room to grow? I'm feeling like things are either near the top, or it's past us. Readers, what do you think?  

This week's C&EN

From this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 278 positions

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 278 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

On September 14, 2017, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 254 positions.

Interested in how this is tracking overall? Check out these sweet graphics done by Andrew Spaeth.

Want to see pre-September discussion? Check out the pre-September open thread. Current discussion is on the September open thread. 

Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 28 positions

Welcome to the Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List, which has 28 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

Faculty positions: Biopharmaceutical Discovery Cluster Hire, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

From the inbox, a cluster hiring opportunity at the University of Delaware: 
The University of Delaware is seeking applications for several open rank tenure-track professorships as part of a multiyear hiring effort in the area of biopharmaceutical discovery. Applicants must have a doctoral or equivalent degree, documented evidence of high quality research productivity, and a strong commitment to both research and teaching. 
Applicants with research interests broadly relevant to biopharmaceutical discovery that span chemistry (e.g. chemoproteomics, molecular probes for biological imaging, metabolomics); biology (e.g. diseases of immune or tissue dysfunction) and engineering (e.g. synthetic biology, protein design, metabolic engineering) will be considered.   Successful applicants could have faculty appointments in one or more of several departments, including Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Psychological and Brain Sciences.  
...Using the Interfolio® online system at UD, http://apply.interfolio.com/54714 , applicant should submit a) a cover letter; b) a statement of current and long-term research plans; c) a statement of teaching philosophy; d) a curriculum vitae; and e) three contact references.  Any questions can be directed to Susan Cheadle (scheadle@udel.edu) or to Dr. Joseph Fox (jmfox@udel.edu), Chair, Faculty Search Committee, Biopharmaceutical Discovery Cluster Hire University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716.  Review of applications will begin on receipt and continue until October 31st for full consideration. Positions will remain open until filled.
Full ad here. Apply here. Best wishes to those interested.   

Postdoctoral positions: Krusemark Lab, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, West Lafayette, IN

From the inbox, two postdoctoral positions with Professor Casey Krusemark.

The first position:
Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University in the laboratory of Prof. Casey J. Krusemark. Highly motivated candidates skilled in one or more of the following areas: molecular biology, synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, enzymology, chemical biology, bioconjugate chemistry are encouraged to apply. Candidates with research experience in organic chemistry will be given special consideration. The position requires a PhD in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, or a related field of study that has equipped the applicant with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the duties of the position. The two main project areas of interest are synthesis of DNA-encoded combinatorial libraries and design of DNA-based biochemical assays. 

Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research associate in the Departments of Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University. This is a unique research opportunity involving the design and synthesis of DNA-encoded combinatorial libraries and joint mentorship by Prof. Mingji Dai and Prof. Casey J. Krusemark.

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 16 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 16 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Anthropology has quantified its faculty job market - chemistry needs to do the same

Chemistry desperately needs this fascinating analysis applied to anthropology by Professor Robert Speakman and his colleagues at the University of Georgia. We don't know these numbers for chemistry that Professor Speakman and his co-authors have established for anthropology:
Based on NSF data [6–8], we know that between 1995 and 2014 a total of 9,558 Anthropology doctorates (all subfields) were conferred in the US. According to our database, derived from the 2014–2015 AnthroGuide [25], approximately 1,989 individuals who graduated between 1995 and 2014 from a US institution were employed as tenure-track anthropology faculty at BA/BS, MA/MS, and PhD institutions in the US. These data indicate a faculty employment rate of approximately 21% for those who graduated since 1995. We acknowledge that some programs focus on PhD training for foreign nationals from Latin America, Africa, and/or Asia who then return to their country of origin to pursue academic positions. Nonetheless, it is apparent that only about 1 in 5 US-derived anthropological PhDs is successful in getting a tenure-track faculty position in a US anthropology department. 
I really like these lines from the conclusion:
...First, there is the nature of the job market, coupled with the production of too many PhDs competing for each position. Next, there is the fact that there are extreme disparities in the placement rate of certain programs over others in placing their graduates... We recognize that these revelations will be perhaps of no surprise to faculty in the trenches of departments everywhere. However, now they are quantified for all to see.
Here's hoping that chemistry will move in this direction as well. 

A headline that sums a lot up, I suspect

This is an eye-catching headline in The New York Times (by M.H. Miller), and one that I think reflects a lot of people's thinking: 
I Came of Age During the 2008 Financial Crisis. I’m Still Angry About It.
The article itself is pretty interesting in itself. The author sounds like he has quite the debt load, and that his family in Michigan isn't doing well at all. 

(One of those funny aspects of Our Modern Times, it seems, is that it seems like the number of families where neither the parents nor the children are financially upwardly mobile is growing. Here's hoping my impression isn't true.) 

Friday, September 14, 2018

View From Your Hood: Jayhawk sunset edition

Credit: Julian Silverman
From @heterocat: "Somehow they get the sunsets here to match the school colors." 
 
(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at chemjobber@gmail.com; will run every other Friday.)

Ten years ago: Reserve Money Market breaking the buck

Ten years ago, I barely understood money market funds, and then on September 16, 2008 (via Wikipedia):
The Reserve Primary Fund was a large money market mutual fund. 
On September 16, 2008, during the Global financial crisis of September–October, 2008, it lowered its share price below $1 ("breaking the buck") because of exposure to Lehman Brothers debt securities. This resulted in demands from investors to return their funds as the financial crisis mounted.  Normally, the net asset value of money market funds is kept at $1. 
Reserve Management had multiple other funds frozen because of this failure. It has liquidated a few funds, and post periodic updates about plans to liquidate other funds on its website.
I had been looking for work for quite some time during my postdoc - I think I knew that the economy was in trouble by that point. I have clear memories of discussing the Reserve Fund failure with my interviewer, who was kind enough to pick me up in his car.

Glad things are somewhat better now than back then. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

BREAKING: Charges dismissed against Prof. Patrick Harran in #SheriSangji case

Via Kim Christensen of the Los Angeles Times:
A Los Angeles judge has dismissed criminal charges against UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran, nearly 10 years after a staff research assistant suffered fatal burns in a laboratory he supervised. 
In what was thought to be the first U.S. criminal case arising from an academic lab accident, Harran was charged with four felony counts of willfully violating state occupational health and safety standards in the death of Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji, who died 18 days after the Dec. 29, 2008 fire. 
In June 2014, Harran struck a deferred-prosecution agreement in which he would avoid the charges if he met certain conditions for five years. He agreed to teach organic chemistry courses for college-bound inner-city students in the summers, perform 800 hours of community service in the UCLA Hospital system and pay $10,000 to the Grossman Burn Center. 
Last week at a regularly scheduled status hearing on the case, Harran’s attorney Thomas O’Brien asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Lomeli to shorten the term of the agreement, which was to have run until June 2019. Lomeli, who had approved the original deal, granted the request. 
“Dr. Harran completed all of the conditions he was supposed to complete, so the court dismissed the matter,” O’Brien said Wednesday. 
Prosecutors objected to the dismissal. 
Sangji’s sister, Naveen Sangji, said in an email to The Times that that the family was “not informed that this was even a possibility” and should have been given an opportunity to raise its own objection. She said she learned of the decision on Tuesday, five days after Lomeli rendered it. 
“Our family had planned to be present and to speak, as is our right, at the final hearing which was to be nine months from now,” she said. The family has long contended that the deferred-prosecution agreement was little more than “a slap on the wrist” for Harran. 
Sheri Sangji, 23, was not wearing a protective lab coat when a plastic syringe she was using to transfer t-butyl lithium from one sealed container to another came apart, spewing a chemical compound that ignites when exposed to air. She suffered extensive burns and died 18 days later.
Read the whole Los Angeles Times article here. Here's coverage from a San Diego television station.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by this, but I am rather taken aback by it, especially since there was a 5 year length for the deferred prosecution. Remarkable.

UPDATE: C&EN's summation of the legal proceedings. (article written by Jyllian Kemsley.)

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 201 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself)  has 201 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 5 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 5 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

18 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 18 new positions posted for September 11.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 216 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 216 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Your morning random click

A recent tweet of mine: 
Weird #scicomm/chemistry communication idea of the day:  
Stain removal clinic, i.e. people write in with a pic of their stain on their clothes, chemists recommend the best approach.
This conversation lead to this amazing Illinois extension website with suggestions for how to get stains out of clothing. Enjoy the random clicking!  

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles in this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News

    Tuesday, September 11, 2018

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 242 positions

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 242 positions.

    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    On September 12, 2017, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 240 positions.

    Want to see pre-September discussion? Check out the pre-September open thread. Current discussion is on the September open thread. 

    Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

    Job posting: Assistant Lecturer in Chemistry, York University, Toronto, ON

    From the inbox, a position at York University:
    Assistant Lecturer in Chemistry  
    Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, York University 
    The Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, invites applications for an teaching-focused (alternate-stream) tenure-track appointment at the Assistant Lecturer level in Chemistry, to commence July 1, 2019. 
    Applicants must hold a PhD in Chemistry or a related discipline, with a preference for the former. The successful candidate will demonstrate excellence or clear potential for excellence in teaching university-level chemistry courses and a strong commitment to pedagogy and student success. A record of pedagogical innovation in classroom delivery, of implementation of technology-enhanced learning and of laboratory development is preferred, as is experience in curricular development and innovation. The successful candidate is also expected to provide evidence of service contributions or the potential to contribute to administrative and committee tasks as well as outreach efforts.
    Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested. 

    The Academic Staff Jobs List: 20 positions

    The Academic Staff Jobs list has 20 positions.

    This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
    • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
    • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
    • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

    Monday, September 10, 2018

    The McNaughton story ends: plea deal, deferred sentence

    Via Anon105PM, a coda to the Brian McNaughton story - the inevitable plea deal (article at The Chronicle of Higher Education, written by Jack Stripling): 
    Brian McNaughton, the former Colorado State University professor who was charged with a felony for fabricating a job offer to secure a pay raise, reached a plea deal this week that will allow his case to be dismissed in a year if he remains law abiding and completes 100 hours of community service. 
    Under the agreement, McNaughton pleaded guilty to attempting to influence a public servant, a crime punishable by up to six years in prison. He was granted a deferred sentence, however, making him eligible to withdraw his guilty plea in a year if he complies with the terms of the deal. In addition to community service, McNaughton must complete a “cognitive thinking class.” 
    McNaughton declined to comment on the plea deal.
    (Read the whole thing here.)

    I don't really think that Brian McNaughton deserves prison time, in the sense that the injured party with standing (the taxpayers of Colorado, presumably) probably should reserve prison for those who are most in need of being kept apart from society. But if Brian McNaughton had been a cashier at a grocery store and stolen $5000 from the till, would he have gone to prison? Probably, I dunno.

    I can't help but notice something that happens when professors are charged with crimes: the system-as-a-whole (prosecutors, defense attorneys, employers, judges) delivers a result that consistently avoids prison. I have plenty of biases and thoughts about the criminal justice system in America, but the overriding one is this: if we have one set of punishments for those who have money and status, but another for those who do not, we don't have a system that is delivering justice.

    Job posting: Senior Thermoelectric Engineer, Matrix Industries, Menlo Park, CA

    From the inbox: 
    Senior Thermoelectric Engineer, Matrix Industries 
    Join the Matrix team! We are looking for someone who is smart, adaptable, hard-working, and excited about ushering in the thermoelectric revolution. As a Senior Thermoelectric Engineer, your responsibilities would include synthesizing new materials, measuring thermoelectric properties, and designing and building thermoelectric modules. You should enjoy applying the principles of heat transfer, solid-state physics, and engineering mathematics to open-ended problems. We expect you to learn on the job, but we’d like you to have experience in one or more of the following areas: solid-state synthesis, nanomaterials, semiconductors, electrical and thermal transport measurements, PVD, and spark plasma sintering. You can learn more about Matrix at our website: http://www.matrixindustries.com. Benefits include medical, dental, free lunches, and the best group of co-workers you could ask for. We are located in Menlo Park, CA. 
    If interested, please send a resume with cover letter to Arjun Mendiratta, mendiratta@matrixindustries.com. 
    Best wishes to those interested.  

    Friday, September 7, 2018

    Thea Ekins-Coward was not an employee, UH argues

    From the annals of employee safety and universities comes this gem via Honolulu Civil Beat (as a reminder, Dr. Thea Ekins-Coward was a postdoctoral fellow at UH-Manoa, when a cylinder ruptured due to a hydrogen explosion caused by a sparking pressure gauge. She lost her arm.):
    The fate of a lawsuit filed by a researcher severely injured in a lab accident may come down to what her employment status was at the University of Hawaii Manoa. 
    Thea Ekins-Coward was a postdoctoral fellow when the explosion occurred in 2016; she filed a lawsuit against UH claiming negligence in 2017. 
    The question about her employment status may elevate the case to the Hawaii Supreme Court after attorneys for Ekins-Coward filed a petition to the state’s high court last month, contending she was never a UH employee. 
    UH lawyers, who declined to comment for this report, argue in court documents that Ekins-Coward cannot pursue restitution in court. They say her only recourse is workers’ compensation. 
    Although postdoctoral fellows are not considered employees while they are conducting research, a UH internal policy says they may be “treated as employees only for workers’ compensation benefits,” according to Ekins-Coward’s attorneys. They say this was not made known to her until after the explosion. 
    “At least at the beginning, they made it a point to say that she was not an employee,” Claire Choo, one of Ekins-Coward’s attorneys, told Civil Beat. “She only found out after she was in the hospital.” 
    In March, Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe, agreed with the university’s argument that the court did not have jurisdiction in the case. Ayabe ruled that the decision must be left up to State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Leonard Hoshijo. Hoshijo could not be reached for comment.
    Universities still manage to exist in this weird gray area of the law, where it seems like no one is really an employee...

    Thursday, September 6, 2018

    The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 189 positions

    The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself)  has 189 positions.

    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

    Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

    Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

    42 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

    Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 24 new positions posted for September 4 and 18 positions for August 29.

    The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 3 positions

    The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 3 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

    The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List: 25 positions

    The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List has 25 positions. This list is curated by Joel Walker. 

    The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 210 positions

    The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 210 positions.

    Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

    Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

    Wednesday, September 5, 2018

    The Brian McNaughton story only gets weirder

    Readers of the blog will undoubtedly remember the odd case of Brian McNaughton, the Colorado State professor who faked an outside offer letter in order to get a raise. Via The Chronicle of Higher Education's Jack Stripling and Megan Zahneis, an answer to my question: Why did the Larimer County District Attorney go after Professor McNaughton?
    Final as it seemed, the separation agreement never envisioned a person like Kyle Strunk. A private investigator and fiscal hawk, he would not rest until McNaughton’s lie was exposed. The website for Flatirons Private Investigations describes Strunk as a retired military intelligence officer who speaks Arabic and German. According to his biography, Strunk maintains a secret security clearance, and his two decades of sleuthing have sent him to the Middle East, Oceania, and Asia.  
    But the assignment that has most animated Strunk of late started closer to home, near his Broomfield, Colo., headquarters. In Strunk’s telling, Stacey McNaughton first contacted him to ask if the private investigator would surveil her ex-husband when their children were visiting him in Fort Collins. Strunk says he never did that particular snooping. But he took a keen interest in what he learned about Brian McNaughton, a public-university professor who had defrauded the taxpayers of Colorado and seemed to have gotten away with it. 
    This was just the sort of thing that got a rise out of Strunk and his buddies, a group known as the Colorado Society of Private Investigators. 
    “We investigate public corruption,” Strunk says, “and this kind of met that test.”
    This past spring, Strunk sent a records request to Colorado State for correspondence related to McNaughton. What he found angered him. This wasn’t some employment dispute that could be quietly worked out by lawyers, he concluded; it was felony forgery. But that crime, Strunk was convinced, had been swept under the rug by the university. 
    The records Strunk obtained, including a recorded phone call, showed that Jason Dobbins, a detective with the university police, believed he had an “open and shut” case of identity theft and forgery against McNaughton. But the police appeared to sit on the case for 10 months, during which time McNaughton negotiated with the university as if the criminal matter had been shelved. 
    It was only after Strunk and others mounted a campaign, pressuring public officials to bring the hammer down on McNaughton, that the university police referred the case to the Larimer County district attorney. 
    “The whole state of Colorado,” Strunk says, “was flooded with letters saying, ‘This person did this; why aren’t you doing anything about it?’ ”
    So that explains it: Professor McNaughton had the bad luck of having someone find out about his forgery, and that person implemented a campaign of pressure on the parties that could do something: the university police and the Larimer County DA.  

    This week's C&EN

    Tuesday, September 4, 2018

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 201 positions and September Open Thread

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 201 positions.

    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    On September 5, 2017, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 201 positions.

    Want to see pre-September discussion? Check out the pre-September open thread. This will serve as the open thread for the month of September 2018.

    Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

    The Academic Staff Jobs List: 20 positions

    The Academic Staff Jobs list has 20 positions.

    This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
    • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
    • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
    • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

    Monday, September 3, 2018

    Happy Labor Day!



    To my American and Canadian readers, a very happy Labo(u)r Day to you and your family. To people in the rest of the world, happy Monday! Back tomorrow.

    Friday, August 31, 2018

    View From Your Hood: deer edition

    From an anonymous reader: "Doe and two fawns, Morris County, NJ"

    (got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at chemjobber@gmail.com; will run every other Friday.)

    This week's C&EN

    A few of this week's articles:

    Thursday, August 30, 2018

    The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 182 positions

    The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself)  has 182 positions.

    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

    Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

    Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

    Welcome to The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 3 positions

    The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 3 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

    The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List: 25 positions

    The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List has 25 positions. This list is curated by Joel Walker. 

    The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 204 positions

    The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 204 positions.

    Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

    Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

    Wednesday, August 29, 2018

    Did you witness the Mirkin/Levy contretemps?

    Did you witness the Mirkin/Levy contretemps at ACS Boston? (Here's Dr. Levy's account.) Want to talk to a science journalist (who is not me) about it? E-mail me at chemjobber@gmail.com before noon Thursday ET.

    Picky, picky

    In this week's C&EN, a funny letter:
    I carefully read all the articles on shrinking mass spectrometers and think they were very good and well presented. 
    However, what ruined it for me was the announcement for the cover story (C&EN, May 28, page 36) in the table of contents. Irregardless [sic] of what the confused minds of the C&EN production staff may think, there ain’t [sic] no such thing as mass spectroscopy. As you well know, spectroscopy involves the study of the absorption or transmission of energy associated with the electromagnetic spectrum. There is no such thing associated with mass spectrometry. All spectroscopies are spectrometries, but all spectrometries are not spectroscopies. 
    The reason I make an issue of this is that I feel it is important to use good communication in science and correct terms. This is why you would never see a scientific peer-reviewed article with “ain’t” or “irregardless” in it. 
    O. David Sparkman
    Antioch, Calif. 
    Editor’s note: Brackets in original.
    Nothing gets the mass spec types riled up like calling them spectroscopists.  

    Job posting: Field Application Scientist, Perkin Elmer Informatics

    From the inbox, via friend of the blog Philip Skinner:
    We have an open position in our Field Application Scientist group in the US which we would prefer is filled by either an organic chemist, either in medicinal chemistry or in the broader materials science area (specialty chemistry, advanced materials etc.). We would prefer someone based either on the US East Coast or MidWest. These positions involve demonstrations and other presales support for our software applications including ChemDraw, Tibco Spotfire and Signals Notebook. Experience using these or similar applications is important along with scientific expertise, a willingness to travel and an affinity for customer focused interactions. 
    We have a similar role in Europe also available albeit for this one we want someone with biology expertise. Although I assume this isn’t your core readership perhaps you have readers who have crossed over, or work in molecular biology or another adjacent field. 
    These opportunities are great for someone who loves science but want to work in a more commercial setting and not in a laboratory and are highly personable. We help scientists be successful through our software and the role is essentially to help scientists envision how our software can specifically help them.
    Best wishes to those interested. Contact Philip at philip.skinner-at-perkinelmer-dot-com


    Tuesday, August 28, 2018

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 167 positions

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 167 positions.

    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    On August 29, 2017, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 171 positions.

    Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Try the open thread.

    Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

    Job posting: assistant professor, Davidson College, Davidson, NC

    Tenure-Track Faculty Position at Davidson College 
    The Department of Chemistry at Davidson College seeks to hire a tenure-track faculty member at the Assistant Professor level beginning July 1, 2019, with research interests in emerging or highly interdisciplinary fields of chemistry. A Ph.D. in Chemistry or related field is required. Demonstrated or potential teaching excellence is essential. Postdoctoral experience is desirable but not required.  A successful candidate will teach courses at the foundational level as well as in an area of specialization. Inquiries may be directed to Durwin Striplin, Chair of Chemistry, dustriplin@davidson.edu.   
    Qualified applicants should apply online at http://employment.davidson.edu and provide the following application materials:  a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae, a description of research plans and anticipated equipment needs, a statement of teaching experience and philosophy, and a 1-2 page diversity inventory that outlines how your teaching, research, and/or service might contribute to Davidson’s institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion. 
    Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested.  

    The Academic Staff Jobs List: 20 positions

    The Academic Staff Jobs list has 20 positions.

    This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
    • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
    • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
    • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

    Monday, August 27, 2018

    Columbia lawyers argue that postdocs are not employees, they're trainees

    Via Gary McDowell, (amidst Columbia University's recent postdoctoral unionization drive), a rather shocking and candid statement from their legal team and research administration:
    If provided an opportunity to present evidence to show that postdoctoral trainees at Columbia are not employees under Section 2(3) of the Act, the University will present witnesses including, but not limited to Michael Purdy, Executive Vice President for Research. Dr. Purdy will testify to the following facts to show that postdoctoral trainees are not employees under Columbia University:  
    (1) Postdoctoral trainees are merely "trainees" who, despite having a PhD degree, still require significant education, mentoring, and training in order to learn how to successfully conduct independent research....
    ...(5) Unlike other employees of the University, postdoctoral trainees are not "hired" based on their skills and ability to perform specific job tasks. Instead, the University appoints postdoctoral trainees to research positions based on their fit within a particular lab or with a particular principal investigator and their prior experience conducting mentored research....
    (6) The tasks performed by postdoctoral trainees are fundamentally educational and are part of their training.... 
    ...Similarly, here, postdoctoral trainees seek such positions not to earn a living but to learn - for a temporary period of time - how to conduct independent research under the educations instruction and mentorship of a principal investigator. The trainees conduct research and perform tasks as part of the learning process. Their compensation is also generally fixed and does not vary based on the extent of services rendered. 
    As I said on Twitter, I'm sure that the likeliest response is "well, this is language cooked up by our lawyers and we greatly value our important postdoctoral employees trainees..." Also, what does (1) mean for Columbia Ph.D.s and their ability to perform independent research without postdoctoral training? Surely some PUIs expect a research component and are willing to try out a freshly-graduated Ph.D? (not many, granted.)

    ACS Boston Career Fair: 62 jobs, 539 job seekers

    Numbers reported to the ACS Council on Thursday, August 23 (link goes to Powerpoint):
    Number of Employers: 48
    Number of Jobs Posted: 62
    Active Job Seekers: 539
    Career Counselor Interactions: 544
    As I recall, that's a pretty good ratio, although I suspect that the number of available positions is down somewhat. It's surprising to me that there weren't more positions for Boston, but I suppose that if I were a Boston-based employer, it's not clear to me that I would be exhibiting at the ACS National Meeting, instead of just holding an open house...

    Friday, August 24, 2018

    Short e-mail apologies

    A list of small, useful things (links):
    An open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring you millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

    Have a good weekend!

    Position: researcher (temporary), Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Okinawa, Japan

    From the inbox, an interesting temporary position:
    The Researcher position is available for one year under the “Sulfone substituted complex cyclopropanes and linear hydrocarbons via catalysis” project under the direction of Dr. Eugene Khaskin) at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST). 
    The major focus will be on the economic scale up of the earlier disclosed cyclopropanation reactions as well as employing the reaction towards new sulfone, alcohol, and other substrates compatible in the reaction. Basic responsibilities involve screening of catalysis conditions; synthesis, separation, and characterization of cyclopropane and linear sulfone substrates; and testing new catalysts and reaction conditions. Some of the work will be carried out in cooperation with the Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis unit, about which more details can be found at the unit webpage: https://groups.oist.jp/cccu 
    Qualifications (Required)
    • Master's or Ph.D. in Chemistry
    • Experience in one or several of the following fields: organic chemistry methods development, organic chemistry total synthesis, organic chemistry heterocycle synthesis, organometallic chemistry catalysis.
    • Extensive experience in reaction screening, as well as basic organic chemistry techniques such as separating substrates via column chromatography (and/or HPLC), TLC, etc... 
    • Familiarity with NMR, GC (FID or MS), and HPLC instruments.
    • Have a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals
    • Good communication skills in English
    • Ability to work independently as well as a part of a team
    Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested. 

    Event: Harvard Biotech Club Career Fair, August 28

    From the inbox, an event in the Boston area:
    This event at Harvard Medical School on 8/28 is an opportunity to meet hiring managers and recruiters at a number of interesting biopharma companies. Several of them are actively hiring for chemistry and chemical biology positions including Celgene, Alnylam,  Novartis,  AbbVie, Pfizer, Amgen,  Arrakis Therapeutics, AstraZeneca and more. RSVP is required and registration is only $10. The event includes keynote, panels, company presentations, and career fair.  
    http://thebiotechclub.org/schedule/ 
    The GSAS Harvard Biotech Club is a student organization founded almost twenty years ago whose mission is to bridge the gap between academia and industry. The Club hosts free events and provides educational services for those interested in the business of biotech and pharma.  
    If you need to email anyone for more info: the email address is harvardbiotechclub@gmail.com
    The keynote speaker is Jay Bradner, which is cool. Best wishes to those interested. 

    Thursday, August 23, 2018

    The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 173 positions

    The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself)  has 173 positions.

    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

    Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

    Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

    The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List: 25 positions

    The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List has 25 positions. This list is curated by Joel Walker. 

    7 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

    Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 7 new positions posted for August 18.

    The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 194 positions

    The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 194 positions.

    Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

    Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

    Tuesday, August 21, 2018

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 138 positions

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 138 positions.

    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    On August 22, 2017, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 152 positions.

    Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Try the open thread.

    Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

    The Academic Staff Jobs List: 17 positions

    The Academic Staff Jobs list has 17 positions.

    This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
    • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
    • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
    • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

    Monday, August 20, 2018

    I can't even begin to understand what's going on here yet, but...

    ...this is a pretty interesting Twitter thread to come out of ACS Boston.

    In other relevant Twitter/ACS Boston news:
    The editors’ decision is in! JACS will now consider submissions of manuscripts previously posted as preprints on @ChemRxiv.  Details to follow…
    Commence the pre-printing! (I regret that I am terribly proud of this pre-tweet on Friday.)

    Friday, August 17, 2018

    View From Your Hood: Capitol edition

    Credit: @hartwig_bill
    Via Twitter user and friend of the blog @hartwig_bill: "Does it have to be a hood? How about view from [the] office?"

    (got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at chemjobber@gmail.com; will run every other Friday.)

    Social Media 101/Boston tweetup

    Attending the ACS National Meeting next week in Boston?

    Join a few folks (including myself) in the Social Media 101 session at the Sheraton Boston on Sunday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30. RSVP here.

    Also, the tweetup will be at Lucky's at 7 PM on Sunday evening. Hope to see you there, and please come and introduce yourself. 

    The thrall of strong personalities

    The image being drawn is of a man on the edge of a digital nervous breakdown, and the theory is that the once unstoppable Mr. Musk is now untethered and unhinged. So let me answer that question: Is he crazy? 
    No, he’s not. Not, at least, in my various encounters with him over nearly two decades — including recently — in which he has been alternately funny, rude, compelling, obnoxious, accessible, easy to deal with, hard to deal with, always on, outspoken to a fault even when he might be at fault, angry, charming, intense and also strikingly confident. Which is a long way of saying deeply human, with all the positive and negative characteristics that suggests...
    ...This week I have talked to a lot of people who know Mr. Musk, including those who adore him and those who have had it with his brusque intensity. And what I found among his current and former colleagues is that they really have the exact same story about an impulsive and driven boss who runs a very hot and messy kitchen and does not spend a lot of time apologizing for it. Some grew weary of this and left, while others thrive under the withering lights. Still others left and then came back, drawn in by the glow.
    It's this phrase of "a very hot and messy kitchen" that I find most compelling in her column. I've worked for such people as these, and the thrall of being able to do big things can be really exciting, even as one does grow weary of both the heat and the messiness. You think to yourself, "Does the crazy train really need to be this crazy?"

    (There often seem to be a lot of PIs whose labs seem to run 'hot and messy' - I wonder how their cooler and neater colleagues see them?)

    Thursday, August 16, 2018

    The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 170 positions

    The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself)  has 170 positions.

    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

    Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

    Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

    The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List: 25 positions

    The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List has 25 positions. This list is curated by Joel Walker. 

    10 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

    Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 10 new positions posted for August 13.

    The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 193 positions

    The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 193 positions.

    Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

    Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

    Wednesday, August 15, 2018

    Job posting: Research and Development Chemist, Dow, Marlborough, MA.

    From the inbox, a position with Dow Electronic Materials:
    DowDupont has an exciting and challenging opportunity within our Electronics and Imaging business for a Research and Development Chemist, located in Marlborough, MA. 
     This position in the Circuits and Industrial Technologies Research and Development group will focus on the development and improvement of chemistries and processes within the metallization research platform and especially concentrate on novel solutions, but will also involve development of new approaches to catalysis and surface modification of printed circuit board laminate materials....   
    Basic Qualifications
    • Ph.D. in Chemistry with a broad knowledge of Inorganic Chemistry/Materials Science
    • Strong background in problem solving, using multiple analytical procedures to identify and characterize product development barriers.
    • Experience with a wide range of synthetic and analytical techniques such as synthesis of novel materials, SEM/EDS, HPLC, rheological measurements, and surface analysis methods.
    • Demonstrated ability to analyze prior art and incorporating information and knowledge management tools and systems into work. Proficiently uses patent analysis tools to maintain expert understanding of a technology/market area....
    Preferred Requirements
    • Those skilled in the synthesis and characterization of novel metal and metal alloy deposits, application of electrochemical techniques, and fundamentals of corrosion science preferred. Industry or post-doctoral experience
    • Materials or Inorganic chemist with metal electrodeposition experience preferred.  Experience with synthesis and characterization on novel materials preferred.
    • Strong working knowledge of materials synthesis and characterization, colloid chemistry, coordination chemistry, and/or design of novel composite materials would also be considered.
    Full listing here. Best wishes to those interested. 

    Quote of the week: you think you're busy, try this!

    Whenever I think I'm busy, and I have two or three deadlines coming up on the same day, I think about the Royal Navy's Perisher submarine course, which I first read about in Tom Clancy's book "Submarine":
    Here the real test of the Perishers begins. Each group of trainees is taken aboard a Royal Navy submarine and begins to do visual approaches on a frigate charging at the submarine. Each trainee gets to do five runs a day for a period of several weeks. As the course progresses, more frigates are added, until the Perisher trainee has three of them simultaneously charging at his periscope. The idea is for him to safely operate the submarine, fire off a shot, and not get run over by one or more of the frigates. All the time that a Perisher student is at the conn of the sub, the teacher is evaluating the trainee's reactions and ability to maintain his awareness of the tactical situation.  
    Good luck with your frigates today. (Want to read more about the Perisher course? Try here and here.)

    Warning Letter of the Week: insanitary conditions edition

    (From the inbox): Via a missive from the Director of Division of Pharmaceutical Quality Operations IV to the owner of BioDiagnostic International, some alarming comments:
    Insanitary Conditions Violations
    You manufacture [redacted], a drug product intended for vaginal use as a hemostatic solution to stop bleeding after cervical biopsies. During the inspection, our investigator observed filthy conditions in your facility, including dirty equipment and utensils covered with unknown residue. A large metal roll-up door at the entrance to your facility was open to the outdoors, while an open pot you use as a mixing vessel contained in-process material and was not covered. The insanitary conditions observed at your facility failed to protect drug products from contamination with filth.

    CGMP Violations 
    1.    Your firm failed to have separate or defined areas or such other control systems necessary to prevent contamination or mix-ups (21 CFR 211.42(c)).

    Our investigator documented that you have an employee food preparation area within your drug manufacturing area with no separation between open manufacturing equipment, cooking utensils, and personal-use items. The practices observed at your facility, which was observed open to the outdoors, increase the likelihood of your drug products becoming contaminated.
    Cooking utensils? That sounds... yucky.  

    Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 100 positions

    The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 100 positions.

    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    On August 10, 2017, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 104 positions.

    Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Try the open thread.

    Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

    The Academic Staff Jobs List: 17 positions

    The Academic Staff Jobs list has 17 positions.

    This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
    • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
    • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
    • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
    Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

    Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

    Monday, August 13, 2018

    Jury awards school groundskeeper $289 million for exposure to Roundup

    A California jury on Friday found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a school groundskeeper who said the company’s weedkillers, including Roundup, caused his cancer. The company was ordered pay $289 million in damages. 
    The case of the groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, 46, was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging that Roundup and other glyphosate-based weedkillers cause cancer. Monsanto, a unit of the German conglomerate Bayer following a $62.5 billion acquisition, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States. 
    Mr. Johnson’s lawyers said he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup and Ranger Pro, another Monsanto glyphosate herbicide, as part of his job as a pest control manager for a California county school system. 
    The jury in Superior Court of California in San Francisco deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Mr. Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weedkillers. 
    It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages...
    As one might imagine, I'm pretty skeptical about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate. Nevertheless, I think that most typical people feel very much otherwise.

    A very long time ago, I got into an online argument (always a great use of time) about the toxicity of Roundup. The original post said something like "I cannot believe something as toxic as Roundup is out on the market" - trying to convince the fellow "actually, it's not very toxic" was a tough thing to do. As you might imagine, I had no success.

    Here's my theory as to why this is true: if you get out a bottle of Roundup and you spray it on plants, they die in a particularly visible way. Even if people understand the concepts behind amino acid synthesis and enzyme inhibition, they're just never really going to not believe their eyes, and make the conclusion that, if it kills plants, it won't kill people.

    All of this to say: I have a feeling that Monsanto/Bayer is going to be in trouble, if these jury trials continue. 

    Friday, August 10, 2018

    9 cm filter paper

    A list of small, useful things (links):
    An open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring you millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

    Have a good weekend!