Friday, July 31, 2020

Have a good weekend



We've made it another week. I hope you have a good weekend, and see you on Monday. 

Chemical industry earnings in the second quarter take a beating

With countries in North America and Europe mostly under lockdown, the second quarter bore the economic brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that US gross domestic product shrank by a record 32.9%. 
For chemical companies, it was the worst quarter in decades, with nearly all firms posting double-digit drops in sales and earnings, and a handful posting losses. Most companies have been cutting costs, some opting for layoffs. 
Exposure to some sectors was particularly painful. For example, in his remarks to analysts on July 29, BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller estimated that the global auto industry saw a 45% sales decline during the second quarter. 
Aerospace might have been worse. “What we’ve seen in aerospace is just unprecedented,” Huntsman CEO Peter R. Huntsman told stock analysts. Hard-up airlines aren’t even taking delivery on airplanes that are already built, he said. 
Huntsman posted a $30 million loss for the quarter. It was driven by a sharp downturn in sales of advanced materials for aerospace, textile chemicals and polyurethanes for construction and auto markets. 
...Covestro executives said they have completed a previous goal of axing 400 jobs by year end. Further job reductions, numbering in the low hundreds, are still to come, they said. 
BASF has accelerated a program—announced a year ago—to reduce its workforce by 6,000 positions, about 5% of its total. The company plans to complete the cuts by the end of this year, rather than in 2021 as originally planned...
 Here's hoping the job losses stop here. Best wishes to them, and to all of us. 

More details on that Genentech cut

In a move away from a "national strategy" in favor of localized operations, Genentech is planning to part ways with hundreds of staffers over the next few months. 
The U.S. unit of Swiss drug giant Roche, Genentech is cutting 474 jobs, according to a notice filed with the state of California. While many of the cuts are in clinical operations, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that 44 division managers and 32 territory managers will be affected by the layoffs. Many of the cuts take effect in mid-September, but some employees will depart in August and some in October, according to the report. 
A spokeswoman told Fierce Pharma the company this year "launched a new customer-engagement approach that will transform the way we serve patients, physicians, providers, payors and pharmacies across the country."
Best wishes to them.  

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Kodak going into the pharma services business with $765 million of Uncle Sam's money

Via the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (articles by Victoria E. Freile and Brian Sharp), the best summary of this story that I've seen: 
Eastman Kodak Co. will receive a $765 million government loan to help expedite the domestic production of generic drugs to treat a variety of medical conditions and loosen the country's reliance on foreign sources, officials said Tuesday.  Specifically, the Rochester-based company will make the ingredients so often produced overseas so the country can produce its own medications.
The move is expected to create at least 350 new jobs, launching a new business unit for the Rochester-based company that — when at peak production in four to five years — could produce 25% of the active ingredients for  "non-biologic, non-antibacterial, generic pharmaceuticals."  
...Continenza told The Journal that the loan has terms similar to a commercial loan and must be repaid over 25 years. Kodak will produce “starter materials” and “active pharmaceutical ingredients” used to produce generic medicines, he said. “We have a long, long history in chemical and advanced materials — well over 100 years,” Continenza said. He added that Kodak’s existing infrastructure allows the company “to get up and running quickly.” 
...The operation will build on Kodak's existing Specialty Chemicals Group, a segment that is dispersed across a three-building complex at Eastman Business Park, with multiple cells or bays that operate as its own chemical factory so that multiple processes can be run concurrently. That operation already is working with various markets, including pharmaceuticals. In company brochures, Kodak touts the 88 reactors, more than 25 centrifuges, filter and membrane presses.
I think this is a pretty logical move on the part of the Trump Administration, i.e. they clearly want to reshore the pharmaceutical supply chain, and Kodak is (I strongly suspect) the largest group of not-currently-spoken-for large scale reactors in the country. They're making noises about making APIs there, and I'm pretty skeptical of that, but the better part of a billion dollars will get you at least partway there. This bears watching. 

Genentech cutting 474 Bay Area positions

I can't see the whole article, but the San Francisco Chronicle has the details:
Biotech giant Genentech will lay off more than 470 employees, the company reported to state regulators.
Well, that's not good. Best wishes to them.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 23 research/teaching positions and 3 teaching faculty positions

The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 23 research/teaching positions and 3 teaching assistant professor positions.

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

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On July 30, 2019, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 71 positions.

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

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 27 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 27 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady and @nmr_chemist. 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, July 27, 2020

C&EN: Dow cutting jobs 6% as Q2 revenues down 24%

Well, we kinda knew this was coming (article by Alex Tullo):  
In an effort to preserve cash as the global economy fitfully recuperates from the COVID-19 pandemic, Dow is reducing its workforce by 6%—about 2,200 employees—and aims to shutter uncompetitive facilities. 
Dow is the first major chemical company to announce earnings for the second quarter, the period most impacted by the US lockdowns intended to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. Its sales fell by 24% compared with the same period in 2019, to $8.4 billion; it posted a net loss of $225 million. 
Packaging and specialty plastics—Dow’s largest segment—saw growth in nondurable packaging, such as for food, but that was offset by poor sales to durable markets and lower selling prices. Overall, the business’s sales fell 23%...
Bad news for Dow employees, and this bears watching. Best wishes to them, and all of us.  

NYT: Tecan tips are in shortage

Via the New York Times, this interesting comment:
...The Swiss company Tecan, which supplies pipette tips for machines used by hundreds of laboratories in the United States, has been slammed with orders from U.S. customers in recent months, according to Martin Brändle, the firm’s senior vice president of corporate communications and investor relations. The demand has been so high, he said, that Tecan has tapped into an emergency stash, and is racing to install new production lines that he hopes will double the company’s output by fall. 
Pipette tips aren’t the only laboratory items in short supply. Dwindling stocks of machines, containers and chemicals needed to extract or amplify the coronavirus’s genetic material have clogged almost every point along the testing workflow...
An additional clarifying note via Twitter: "specialized tips for automated sampling handling robots to PCR specs." That's definitely something where I can imagine that Tecan was probably not ready for the surge in demand, and is just trying to keep up these days (or outsource?)

I find it continually frustrating, incidentally, that no organization seems to have determined which reagents are in shortage, and what can be done to increase their supply. Isn't this something simple to publish and continually inform the biotechnology/chemical manufacturing industry about? 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Have a good weekend



A little something rousing for the weekend. We made it another week. See you on Monday. 

New unemployment claims up this week

New state unemployment claims increased last week for the first time in nearly four months, disturbing evidence that the struggling economy is backsliding at a time when coronavirus cases are on the rise. 
After a flood of claims as the pandemic shut businesses early in the spring, weekly unemployment filings fell sharply before flattening in June. But on Thursday, the Labor Department reported more than 1.4 million new applications for state benefits last week, up from about 1.3 million in the preceding two weeks.
Here's the Calculated Risk writeup. Best wishes to unemployed folks, and to all of us.  

BMS layoffs

I have heard rumors of layoffs at BMS this week - can anyone confirm with details? Confidentiality guaranteed: chemjobber@gmail.com 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Why does ethanol-based hand sanitizer smell bad?

From the New York Times' "Wirecutter", this skepticism-inducing set of statements about off smells coming from hand sanitizers: 
...I contacted Bryan Zlotnik of Alpha Aromatics, a perfume manufacturer specializing in additive solutions used to mask unpleasant odors in sanitizers, for an explanation as to why there has been a sudden proliferation of unpleasant-smelling hand sanitizer. 
“That off-putting smell—sometimes described as rotten garbage or tequila-like—is the natural byproduct of ethanol being made from corn, sugar cane, beets, and other organic sources,” explained Zlotnik. “[Ethyl alcohol] production is highly regulated. It stinks because these new brands—many made by distillers who’ve pivoted from producing drinking alcohol to meet public demand for hand sanitizer—are making and using denatured ethanol. This ethanol costs significantly less than ethanol filtered using activated carbon filtration, which would typically remove almost all contaminants and the malodor with it.” 
Those organic contaminants aren’t the only reason unfiltered and denatured ethanol smells downright foul. According to Zlotnik, denatured ethanol is also intentionally tainted with an unpalatable cocktail of chemicals (denaturants) such as methanol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, and denatonium to make it undrinkable. In other words: The base material is intentionally stinky.
I could easily believe that organic sources could provide a bunch of various low molecular weight amines and thiols that could give a pretty nasty funk to ethanol. But methanol, acetone and MEK? No way. Does denatonium bromide have a smell, especially at the low levels used in hand sanitizer? I doubt it. Readers, your thoughts? 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 18 research/teaching positions and 3 teaching faculty positions

The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 18 research/teaching positions and 3 teaching assistant professor positions.

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

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On July 23, 2019, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 52 positions.

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

Postdoctoral opportunity: Nanomaterials for Biosensing, York University, Toronto, ON

From the inbox: 
Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate in Nanomaterials for Biosensing 
The Chen research group in the Department of Chemistry at York University, Toronto, Ontario, is seeking a full-time postdoctoral research associate in the field of nanomaterials for biosensing. 
We seek an outstanding candidate with expertise in bioconjugated nanomaterials. The highly motivated candidate will join us in working at the interface of analytical and materials chemistry to develop plasmonic nanoparticle-based sensors for the analysis of single cells and the cellular microenvironment. 
A PhD degree in the following discipline is required: analytical chemistry, materials chemistry, biomedical engineering or a closely related field. In addition to having the experience in developing nanostructured sensors or imaging probes, other skillsets encompassing molecular biology techniques (e.g. DNA/RNA extraction and purification, RT-qPCR), cell culturing, tissue sampling, microscopy, microfluidics and microfabrication are desirable. The candidate should have a strong publishing record, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, leadership potential and the ability to mentor students. 
The position is available immediately. A starting date beyond 2020 may be considered for an exceptional candidate. The term is one year with the possibility to renew up to 3 years, depending on performance. 
Please visit jchen.lab.yorku.ca/apply for more information.
Best wishes to those interested.  

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 27 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 27 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady and @nmr_chemist. 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, July 20, 2020

COVID-19 and job-seeking postdocs

Also in this week's issue of C&EN, sad stories of postdocs affected by COVID-19 shutdowns (article by Bethany Halford): 
Terry McCallum didn’t expect to spend this summer creating a personal website and growing hot peppers in his in-laws’ garden in North Carolina. In February, he was a postdoctoral scholar at Cornell University studying the chemistry of organic radicals. After spending the months prior interviewing for academic jobs, he was negotiating the details of a position as an assistant professor. His future seemed nearly squared away. 
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 
All McCallum’s plans seemed to evaporate. The school where he was supposed to work hadn’t yet made its formal offer. With budget cuts looming, the university’s chemistry department told him the position was on hold. And because McCallum is Canadian, the university told him it could no longer sponsor his visa to work in the US because of new restrictions from President Donald J. Trump’s administration. 
McCallum is married to an American, so he decided to apply for a Permanent Resident Card using his marital status. But this change in immigration status meant he could no longer work while waiting for the green card to come through—a process that could take more than a year. This meant he had to leave his postdoc at Cornell.
Best wishes to Dr. McCallum, and to all of us.  

Chemical companies' second quarter results

Also in this week's issue of C&EN, this expected but unwelcome news: 
Chemical companies navigating the economic impact of COVID-19 will be reporting second-quarter sales and earnings in the coming weeks, and early indications are that the figures won’t be pretty. Economists are expecting a global rebound in the third quarter, but chemical industry watchers say some markets, namely automotive and aerospace, will continue to be troubled, possibly for years. 
The chemical makers BASF and Covestro and the paint and coatings firm AkzoNobel have given investors a preview of the magnitude of the impact that COVID-19 slowdowns had on second-quarter sales and earnings. All three say businesses serving automotive manufacturing had a rough season, while some other major segments kept pace with last year. 
Lower demand from the auto industry hurt BASF’s sales of materials, surface technologies, and basic and performance chemicals. Overall, the German company expects to report a sales drop of 12.4% to $14.5 billion compared to the second quarter of 2019. The company will report full results on July 29... 
...In the US, the chemical industry will continue to face lagging sales to the auto industry, but companies supplying pharmaceuticals, nutrition, and hygiene raw materials will benefit from upward trends, according to a midyear outlook by Deloitte. The consulting firm estimates full-year US chemical industry sales will be 14–15% lower than last year...
A 14% revenue cut doesn't sound like something that's going to lead to more hiring...


This week's C&EN

A few articles from this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Friday, July 17, 2020

Have a good weekend



Well, friends, we've made it another week. Hope you have a great weekend, and see you on Monday. 

Of interest to faculty candidates

This very interesting website, Chemistry Placement Data, which shows the tenure-track placement rates for the PhD graduation classes of 2008-2010. The percentages are about what you would expect, and the success rates of the universities are about there as well.

This website has been around for a while, but the authors have now encouraged sharing the data, especially since Dr. Gaule and his team have a new paper out, titled "Biased Beliefs and Entry into Scientific Careers". It's quite interesting:
We investigate whether excessively optimistic beliefs may play a role in the persistent demand for doctoral and post-doctoral training in science. We elicit the beliefs and career preferences of doctoral students through a novel survey and randomize the provision of structured information on the true state of the academic market and information through role models on non-academic careers. One year later, both treatments lead students to update their beliefs about the academic market and impact career preferences. However, we do not find an effect on actual career outcomes 2 years post-intervention.
I will have more to say about this paper later, but I think it's worth reading and thinking about, even as I suspect readers of this blog will agree with the broad conclusions of the article. 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Merck CEO Ken Frazier: "officials are doing a “grave disservice” to the public by talking up the potential for vaccines later this year"

Politicians, government officials and pharma executives alike have been predicting a COVID-19 vaccine debut by year's end, but Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier doubts that's possible—and Merck has enough vaccine experience to know the obstacles ahead. Instead, those who are promising vaccines later this year could be hurting the overall fight against the pandemic, Frazier figures. 
In an interview with Tsedal Neeley, the Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Frazier said officials are doing a “grave disservice” to the public by talking up the potential for vaccines later this year. There are massive scientific and logistical obstacles to achieving such a feat, he said.  
“What worries me the most is that the public is so hungry, is so desperate to go back to normalcy, that they are pushing us to move things faster and faster,” Frazier said. "Ultimately, if you are going to use a vaccine in billions of people, you’d better know what that vaccine does.” 
I agree with Frazier 100%. I don't have much of a crystal ball, but I think the earliest we'll have access to a mass vaccine is July 1, 2021, and I fear that's far too early.

Read the whole interview for lots of really good insights.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 12 research/teaching positions and 3 teaching faculty positions

The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 12 research/teaching positions and 3 teaching assistant professor positions.

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

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On July 16, 2019, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 38 positions.

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

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 27 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 27 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady and @nmr_chemist. 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, July 13, 2020

COVID-19 saliva tests

In early March, as the coronavirus was spreading across the United States and testing capacity was already a problem, Bill Phillips had an idea. 
Phillips is the chief operating officer of a medical device company, Spectrum Solutions, that provides saliva test kits for companies like Ancestry.com. He wondered if Spectrum’s kits — which require customers to spit in a tube and ship their samples through the mail — could work with detecting this new virus. 
“I just threw it out there: Why don’t we test our device to see if we can use it as a transport medium to get it to the lab?” Phillips recalled in a recent telephone interview.
Spectrum, based outside Salt Lake City, teamed up with a laboratory at Rutgers University, made a few tweaks and found that the effectiveness of their saliva test kit was comparable to the nasopharyngeal test, or the long swab, that was already in widespread use. 
By mid-April, the Food and Drug Administration granted the Rutgers lab an emergency-use authorization. A month later, it received approval for the test kit to be used at home.
That saliva kit is now a key part of Major League Baseball’s plan to return to play, and has also been used by other revived sports leagues, including the PGA Tour and Major League Soccer.
I didn't know this. (I haven't really been paying attention to the various testing methods out there.) I wonder how accurate these tests are? (It's PCR-based, so it taps into the problems the US has had with PCR reagent shortages...) 

I firmly believe we should be testing everyone as much as possible, so this is a good thing. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Have a good weekend



Well, we made it another week, folks. Have a great weekend - hope you get lots of rest. 

New claims for unemployment this week at 1.3 million workers

Also from the New York Times:
The number of new state unemployment claims dipped last week, but job losses continue to batter the economy as rising coronavirus cases pushed some regions of the country to reverse course and reimpose shutdown orders on businesses. 
More than 1.3 million workers, seasonally adjusted, filed new claims for regular unemployment benefits last week, the government reported on Thursday. Another million first-time claims were filed under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Taken together, the report paints a disappointing picture of recovery: Total new unemployment claims have edged up from their mid-June lows. 
Although hiring nationwide has picked up in recent weeks, most of the payroll gains were temporarily laid-off workers who were rehired. The pool of employees whose previous jobs have disappeared and who must search for new ones has grown....
The trend in permanent job loss isn't looking good. Here's hoping things turn around. 

Pharma companies start antibiotic startup fund

Twenty of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies on Thursday announced the creation of a $1 billion fund to buoy financially strapped biotech start-ups that are developing new antibiotics to treat the mounting number of drug-resistant infections responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. 
The fund, created in partnership with the World Health Organization and financed by drug behemoths that include Roche, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson, will offer a short-term but desperately needed lifeline for some of the three dozen small antibiotic companies, many of them based in the United States, that have been struggling to draw investment amid a collapsing antibiotics industry. 
Over the past year, three American antibiotic start-ups with promising drugs have gone bankrupt, and many of the remaining companies are quickly running out of cash.
Well, this is a good thing. Here's hoping for more, and more jobs to come with them.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 9 research/teaching positions and 2 teaching faculty positions

The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 9 research/teaching positions and 2 teaching assistant professor positions.

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

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On July 9, 2019, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 24 positions.

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

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 27 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 27 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady and @nmr_chemist. 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, July 6, 2020

It's still hard to find domestically-produced hand sanitizer bottle parts?

Such efforts helped put China firmly at the front of the industry, as Rakesh Tammabattula discovered. An entrepreneur in the Los Angeles suburbs, he shifted his business making nutrition supplements and moisturizer to the production of medical masks and hand sanitizer in response to the epidemic. To do that, he needed a machine that could compress and cut fabric to make masks. 
He discovered that the machines were made only in China. He had to charter a jet to fly the huge device — 36 feet long, six feet high and five feet wide — from southern China to Los Angeles... 
...In Los Angeles, Mr. Tammabattula has found that even producing hand sanitizer is hard. He has been unable to find any company in the United States that still makes plastic bottles with pump handles. He imports them, on expensive chartered aircraft, from China. 
Mr. Tammabattula has applied for a federal loan for small businesses trying to produce medical supplies, but the paperwork has proved extensive, daunting and slow, he said. 
“If we were to compare to the Chinese government,” Mr. Tammabattula said, “there’s just no support for domestic manufacturing.”
It's hard for me to imagine that there are no US or North American manufacturers of plastic bottle pump parts, but I'm guessing that they are solidly booked by Proctor & Gamble or whomever.  

June 2020 Chemical Activity Barometer

WASHINGTON (June 30, 2020) – The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), eased 0.3 percent in June on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis following a 4.6 percent decline in May. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer fell 12.0 percent in June. 
The unadjusted data show a 3.5 percent gain in June following a 2.2 percent gain in May and a 6.3 percent decline in April. The diffusion index rose from 35 percent to 53 percent. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for May was revised upward by 2.68 points and the April reading was revised upward by 0.05 points. 
“While the latest CAB reading is consistent with a recession, two consecutive months of gains in the unadjusted data is a positive development,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC. “We’ll want to see at least another month of gains in order to conclude that the economy has turned a corner.”  
 Here's hoping this turns around. 

Layoffs news: Sanofi, UT-San Antonio

On June 25, Reuters reported that Sanofi was planning restructuring, including cutting 1000 jobs in France: 
The reorganisation could involve several European countries and possibly others outside the region, as well as all the divisions of Sanofi except the vaccines and rare diseases unit Genzyme, the sources said. 
Three sources said around 1,000 jobs in France were at risk. One of the sources said the cuts would take place over a three-year period, with no forced redundancies.
The University of Texas at San Antonio notified 312 employees Wednesday that their positions were being eliminated to help close a $36 million budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic’s damage to state finances. 
The losses included one-tenth of the university’s non-tenured faculty, ranging across all academic departments.
Best wishes to them, and all of us. 

Friday, July 3, 2020

Thursday, July 2, 2020

31 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 12 new positions for June 30 and 19 new positions for June 28.

Don't forget to check out the Common Organic Chemistry company list, a very helpful resource for organic chemists looking for potential employers.

In June, 96 jobs were posted. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Chemical industry outlook for 2020 doesn't look great

Also in this week's C&EN, the outlook from the American Chemistry Council (by Alex Tullo): 
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the US and world economies into the worst recession in decades, and the US chemical industry will see a sharp decline before rebounding next year, according to the an updated outlook from the American Chemistry Council (ACC). 
The trade association’s baseline prediction is for a 9.3% decline in US chemical production volume this year. Its pessimistic outlook, in which COVID-19 cases start spiking again, is for a 14.7% production decline, and its optimistic scenario, where the economy benefits from a V-shaped recovery, is for a 7.0% decline. The US industry, the ACC predicts, will cut about 20,000 jobs this year, a decline of 3.6%. Capital spending, as companies tighten their belts and delay projects, will decline about 17.6%, to $29 billion.
This is a far cry from the ACC’s prediction in December that US production will increase by 0.4% this year. “COVID-19 has obviously changed that,” says Martha Moore, senior director of policy analysis and economics. “It has spread to every corner. And the government-imposed lockdowns have caused just this collapse in economic activity. It’s the deepest recession we have seen since the 1930s.” 
The ACC expects global economic activity to decline 4.6% in 2020 and then surge 5.3% in 2021, assuming the world gets over the pandemic. The US will see a 6.0% economic decline this year, followed by 4.6% growth next year. “We think that a recovery is already underway, that activity has bottomed out,” Moore says...
Here's hoping it's a short, very sharp decline in the chemical industry, and the job losses (or lack of job growth) don't impact chemists very much.  

This week's C&EN