Today: Solutions to the “Doctoral Glut Dilemma”
Nov08

Today: Solutions to the “Doctoral Glut Dilemma”

Don't say ACS have their heads in the sand. A webinar this afternoon will face head-on the reality of training to be a doctoral-level chemist in today's job market.  Is higher education producing more doctoral scientists than the market can absorb? With the attendance rates at graduate schools increasing, has the private sector’s growth been able to keep up and will there be enough options for tomorrow’s PhDs?   Join our two experts Richard Freeman and Paula Stephan as they share their viewpoints on the state of higher education, the economy and how industry and academia can better prepare current and future graduates. I'm not privy to any other advance information than what's on the ACS Webinars™ website but others I've viewed have been top-quality. I obviously encourage viewing by current doctoral trainees in chemistry and postdocs. Giving yourself a competitive edge in this market is information anyone can use. But I particularly urge undergrads currently interviewing for chemistry doctoral programs to tune in. One of the four primary discussion topics will be assessing graduate programs for their ultimate employment record of their trainees. Take advantage of what your professional society is offering. Details: Doctoral Glut Dilemma: Are There Solutions? Date: Thursday November 8, 2012 (TODAY!) Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET Fee: Free...

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Behind the Wood Shed with the ACS
Sep27

Behind the Wood Shed with the ACS

Forgive me for sporting my crankypants today but I had originally intended to be in Islamorada right now, snorkeling and kayaking. Between the PharmKid hurting her wrist in nature camp (4 weeks in a cast) and my 4 weeks in an ankle brace, the PharmFamily took advantage of the wise purchase of trip insurance and stayed home to nurse our wounds. So, I'm not in much of a happy mood with two of this week's developments with the American Chemical Society, one of which revisits a longstanding argument over the organization's pricing of its scholarly journals. If you haven't heard, yesterday's clusterfluster was with regard to the library of the State University of New York at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam) choosing to forego the purchase of ACS journals this year. Here's the post from the Attempting Elegance blog of SUNY Potsdam Director of Libraries, Jenica P. Rogers, MLIS, and an accompanying article by Jennifer Howard at The Chronicle of Higher Education. From Jenica's self-described tl;dr summary: SUNY Potsdam will not be subscribing to an American Chemical Society online journal package for 2013. We will instead be using a combination of the Royal Society of Chemistry content, ACS single title subscriptions, the ACS backfile, and ScienceDirect from Elsevier** to meet our chemical information needs. We’re doing this because the ACS pricing model is unsustainable for our institution and we were unable to find common ground with the sales team from the ACS. Instead, we explored other options and exercised them. You could do the same if you find yourself in a position similar to ours as ACS standardizes their pricing, and maybe together we can make enough choices to make our voices heard in meaningful ways. The news is not so much that journal pricing by ACS tends to favor the deeper pockets of institutions larger than SUNY Potsdam. It's a volume of use issue in a package pricing model. Instead, the response of Glenn Ruskin of the ACS Office of Public Affairs is what made news. A round-up: "This statement will be retracted, right?" and, "Glenn Ruskin clarifies his statement," from the pulse of the chemistry employment market, Chemjobber; "ACS to Bloggers: Shove It," by C&EN advisory board member, Chembark; "Are blogs journalism? Um, no. But they are a journalism medium," from one of my general faves, Emily Willingham "The American Chemical Society: Paving paradise to put up a parking lot," from the confessing science librarian, John Dupuis (others: please drop me a note in the comments if I missed yours)   In the Chronicle article, Mr. Ruskin is quoted as choosing not to engage with Ms. Rogers on her blog...

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