Economist Paula Stephan Talks Chemistry Job Placement at #ACSDallas
Mar19

Economist Paula Stephan Talks Chemistry Job Placement at #ACSDallas

Economist Paula Stephan Talks Chemistry Job Placement at #ACSDallas...

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This Week on CENtral Science: Chemist Arrested, Fear of Stench, That 70s #Chemjobs, And More
Jan25

This Week on CENtral Science: Chemist Arrested, Fear of Stench, That 70s #Chemjobs, And More

Tweet of the Week: Man, it's #ChemistsBehavingBadly Week or something.— Chemjobber (@Chemjobber) January 22, 2013 And now, to the roundup: The Safety Zone: UC Davis chemist arrested on explosives charges and UC Davis chemist arraigned on explosives, waste disposal, and firearms charges and Friday chemical safety round-up Artful Science: When a Rembrandt copy is not a forgery Just Another Electron Pusher: From the archives—a surplus of PhDs Newscripts: Chemical Abstracts Service’s 70 Millionth Substance and Fear Of Stink: A Century In The Making and Amusing News...

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On the Continually Bleak Chemistry Job Market
Aug14

On the Continually Bleak Chemistry Job Market

You’ve probably seen the numbers. On August 3rd, the July unemployment figures for the US were widely reported. Relatively stagnant, again, with an overall unemployment rate of 8.3% Last month, here at C&EN, Rudy Baum presented his take on unemployment figures for ACS members, which fell from 4.6% in March 2011 to 4.2% for March 2012. He pointed out that this rate was still “well below” the national unemployment rate, which was at 8.2% in March 2012. This was followed by a commentary by Madeleine Jacobs, CEO and Executive Director of the ACS. She expressed concern for her membership by stating that “those unemployed chemists are no longer solving critical challenges and creating jobs to ensure sufficient energy, clean water, and food while protecting the environment and curing diseases. Unemployment has both a human and an economic face.” She was prompted to speak out by Brian Vastag's article in the Washington Post from July 7th, which covered the lack of available jobs in the sciences. Within that article, a chemist, displaced from her position at a pharmaceuticals company, was quoted as advising her high-school aged daughter to avoid pursuing a career in science. “I tell her, ‘Don’t go into science.’ I’ve made that very clear to her,” she said. Ms. Jacobs was particularly disturbed by this advice, and felt compelled to call others to action. This is where her initial expression of concern morphed into something else: “Many people became scientists to fulfill what they saw as their patriotic duty. Let’s not discourage our children who are passionate about chemistry and other sciences by pointing them to other fields.” She then proceeded to quote, as support for her position, a biology undergraduate, who said, among other things: “Anyone who would discourage a child who loves math and chemistry from pursuing a career in science because it might be difficult to find employment might not be a scientist for the right reasons.” I guess there’s room enough for at least two on that particular high horse. Okay, where to begin? Among my coworkers, Madeleine Jacobs’ commentary was viewed with something best described as sputtering disbelief. Her rebuke smacks of “nothing worthwhile is ever easy,” or “hard work is its own reward.” Gee, um, thanks, Mom. That disbelief was wonderfully crystallized in a subsequent post by Chemjobber. He first pointed out that a straight comparison between the unemployment numbers of ACS members and those of the country at large was a bit misleading: “Less than 30% of the United States has a college degree. The ACS membership in 2010 consists of 64% Ph.D.s, 18% M.S. holders and 18% bachelors' degree holders.”...

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