April 08, 2015

9:29 PM | Job posting: Drug designer, Schrödinger Inc., New York City
From the inbox: At Schrödinger our mission is to revolutionize drug discovery through the use of breakthrough computational methods. The latest advances in our technology allow us to identify high quality lead compounds and efficiently optimize them for clinical development. Our drug discovery team of 20+ scientists includes designers, modelers, computational chemists, medicinal chemists, crystallographers, biochemists, and biologists with well over 100 years of drug discovery […]

April 07, 2015

3:00 PM | Job posting: chemical biologist, University of Cincinnati
From the inbox: The Department of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati invites applications for a tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level, to begin in the 2015-16 academic year. A Ph.D. in Chemistry, Biochemistry, or closely related field and one year of post doctoral experience is required. The candidate is expected to develop and maintain a vigorous externally-funded biochemical research program, aspire to be visible at the national/international levels, and be an […]
2:42 PM | Interesting headline from Chemistry World
I didn't see this earlier, but Rebecca Trager's in Chemistry World article sounds interesting: Chemists in demand as cannabis industry experiences explosive growth The US’s rapidly growing cannabis industry – medical and recreational – desperately needs chemists. That was the conclusion of a session at the American Chemical Society’s spring conference in Denver, Colorado, on 23 March. ‘We need chemists to tell us what we have,’ said Chloe […]
1:03 PM | Everyone hates college administrators
If you were wondering why I didn’t blog yesterday, which you probably weren’t (confession: I don’t read other peoples’ blogs and I don’t listen to any podcasts. So I would never, ever ask anyone to read my blog or listen to my podcast), it was because I was completely confused and irritated by this NYTimes […]

April 06, 2015

3:19 PM | STEM is TE: salary edition
Interesting graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that Matt Yglesias has highlighted. I've annotated it. Fairly obvious that, in terms of salaries, STEM is TE (and a little M.) 
3:08 PM | Medicinal chemistry: "not a commodity"
In a sidebar in Lisa Jarvis' cover article in this week's C&EN, the chemist founders of Flexus Biosciences say some things that warm the cold cockles of my heart: Amid the growing mania for cancer immunology, the Flexus founders saw their Goldilocks: IDO1 and TDO2, enzymes known for helping cancer cells hide from an immune response. The targets were getting little attention, but inhibitors of them are likely to be complementary to the immuno-oncology antibodies. The next step was […]
3:00 PM | This week's C&EN
Lots of interesting news tidbits in this week's C&EN:Very interesting cover article by Lisa Jarvis on a specific set of oncology small molecules called IDO1 inhibitors. Glenn Hess covers the forced resignation of Rafael Moure-Eraso, the chair of the Chemical Safety Board. Britt Erickson looks at the White House's plan for antibiotics research.Fun pics from ACS Denver by Linda Wang. Great letter to the editor/old-timey story from John Meisenheimer, Sr. Kids can't […]
8:00 AM | YP: Reaching an industrial postdoc in analytical chemistry
Last week, I expressed that I hoped that Linda Wang's story in C&EN about analytical chemists in industry did indeed reflect higher demand for analysts, a claim that I feel is not borne out yet with data. YP wrote in with their story; it has been redacted for privacy. As an undergraduate, I attended [medium-sized state school] and majored in chemistry. There were several options in the chemistry major--you could pick the ACS certified option, general chemistry, or the biochemistry (the […]

April 05, 2015

3:17 PM | The hidden reasons behind slow economic growth: Declining EROI, constrained net energy
It should seem obvious that it takes energy to get energy. And, when it takes more energy to get the energy we want, this usually spells higher prices since the energy inputs used cost more. Under such circumstances there is less energy left over for the rest of society to use, that is, for the non-energy gathering parts--the industrial, commercial and residential consumers of energy--than would otherwise be the case.It shouldn't be surprising then that as fossil fuels, which provide more than […]

April 04, 2015

1:13 PM | Aunt Pythia’s advice
Holy shit people we’ve got an awesome column today. Aunt Pythia shall not disappoint, and when she says that, she really means that you wonderful readers have not disappointed Aunt Pythia – your questions are surprising and rich and thoughtful as always. It brings a sweet lightness to Aunt Pythia’s otherwise heavy, snuffly head. For […]

April 03, 2015

3:10 PM | It's soooo haaaard to fiiinnnd aaaa chemiiisssttttt
From the inbox, a link to a new social network space called GradSquare and this sad/interesting blogpost by the founder of it, Marco Altamirano:About a year ago, I met someone at a conference who worked at a food chemistry lab in New Orleans. She was telling me about how her company had tried to hire a chemist with a Masters or PhD by putting some ads out on various job boards, but no one with the right credentials had applied. I thought this was strange because, having recently finished […]
11:16 AM | How many NYC are arbitrarily punished by the VAM? About 578 per year.
There’s been an important update in the thought experiment I started yesterday. Namely, a reader (revuluri) has provided me with a link to show how many teachers are considered “ineffective,” which was my shorthand for scoring either third or fourth in the four categories. According to page 5 of this document, that percentage was 16% […]
9:00 AM | PD: "...I’ve not once regretted how things have turned out."
Today's story on leaving graduate school is from PD; it is longer, but a worthwhile reflection from someone who has had some time, plenty of career success and some time for perspective. All these stories people are sharing assume people went to grad school for the same reasons and got there on similar paths.  At least for me, the backstory is important in understanding why I “left” with a master’s degree.  (I think it is interesting to point out that chemists […]
8:00 AM | A week of links
Links this week: Misrepresentation of Asch’s studies.  HT: Stuart Ritchie Don’t pretend sports events have big economic effects. And this holds for the Olympics too. Get rid of all the ordinary accidents, and you are left with the weird. HT: Tyler Cowen If told obesity is a disease, obese people are less worried about their […]

April 02, 2015

2:30 PM | Job search apps are so great!
Credit: willandbeyondFrom reddit user (and longtime chemblogosphere denizen) willandbeyond.Good job, Silicon Valley. 
2:21 PM | Job posting: two lecturer positions, UC Merced
From the inbox, two temporary teaching positions:A summer lecturer position, teaching "Principles of Organic Chemistry" and "Organic Synthesis and Mechanism."Also, a fall lecturer position, teaching general chemistry and organic chemistry.Best wishes to those interested.
11:04 AM | The arbitrary punishment of New York teacher evaluations
The Value-Added Model for teachers (VAM), currently in use all over the country, is a terrible scoring system, as I’ve described before. It is approximately a random number generator. Even so, it’s still in use, mostly because it wields power over the teacher unions. Let me explain why I say this. Cuomo’s new budget negotiations […]
8:00 AM | The law of law’s leverage
Last week I posted on Owen Jones’s 2000 article Time-Shifted Rationality and the Law of Law’s Leverage: Behavioral Economics Meets Behavioral Biology and his argument that behavioural economics (and law) requires the theoretical backbone of evolutionary biology. The second half of that article has a neat idea – what Jones calls the law of law’s leverage. The basic idea […]

April 01, 2015

2:28 PM | The Zucchini Bread Lobby is at the root of our troubles
From key news source C&EN Onion:..."Many have long argued that the agricultural market in the United States has been bogged down by under-production of zucchini.  However, our most recent analysis of the current market conditions points to an excess in zucchini supply, coupled with falling demand for domestically grown summer squashes in general, as the real culprits," stated study author Francis Ericsson, PhD. The report goes on to state that chief among those touting the […]
7:20 AM | There Is No Zucchini Shortage
I hate to keep banging the same drum over and over again, but to reiterate:There is no zucchini shortage. The people at the American Zucchini Society can't be bothered to track the production of zucchini in garden beds across America. I know that vital photosynthesis is done by zucchini plants across the country, but: There is no zucchini shortage. I know that restaurants across the country are claiming that it's harder and harder to find zucchini in restaurants, but that doesn't […]
6:54 AM | Recipe Wednesday: Chocolate Zucchini Cake
From the literature, we find a highly-cited publication for chocolate zucchini cake: Chocolate Zucchini Cake II, by Sandi  "A great cake for all that zucchini at the end of the season, and the kids love it too!" Ingredients  Original recipe makes 1 9x13-inch cake 1/2 cup butter, softened1/2 cup vegetable oil1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 3/4 cups white sugar2 eggs1/2 cup sour […]
6:35 AM | Joking amongst zucchini
A postdoc left two zucchini on the dashboard of his car and went into a convenience store to pick up some bread and a six-pack of beer. He thought to himself, "I hope these zucchini are still there when I get back to my car." When he paid for his items, he returned and there, sitting on his dash, were four more zucchini, along with 2 postdocs asking if he had a position in his lab for them. 
6:19 AM | Daily Cutting Board: 4/1/15 edition
A few of the recipes available from Z&EN Jobs:Tennessee?: This recipe seems to be for a product engineer? working for a gardener named Mike? It's very confusing.Meriden, CT: Want to dig through really old zucchini before it gets thrown into the Great Compost Heap in the Sky? That's this Tradebe position in Connecticut.Wiscasset, ME: Here's an interesting recipe that will accept all lengths of zucchini, if they're old enough. I sense that with the job title "materials designer", they're […]

March 31, 2015

10:21 AM | Review: The New Prophets of Capital
Last night I finished reading Nicole Aschoff’s new book, The New Prophets of Capital, which was published as part of the Jacobin series of books. Here’s a description from their website of their book series: The Jacobin series features short interrogations of politics, economics, and culture from a socialist perspective, as an avenue to radical political practice. […]
9:00 AM | A comment from a hiring manager at a large chemical company
From the inbox, an explanation of the process for hiring entry-level Ph.D.s for very large chemical companies:Most large chemical companies use a system of applicant selection that involves:Preselection of candidates for on-campus interviews, Formal on-campus interviews (~ Aug-Oct)On-site interviews (Sept-Dec)Offers of employment. My company sends a small team of R&D personnel to selected universities for 1-2 days to conduct interviews. Prior to arriving on campus, the assigned […]
5:32 AM | Analytical chemists needed?
Also from this week's C&EN, a thought-provoking article by Linda Wang on analytical chemistry in industry with some interesting quotes: “It’s a great time to be an analytical chemist,” says Dan Shine, president of chromatography and mass spectrometry at Thermo Fisher Scientific. The company employs roughly 4,600 scientists and engineers, including analytical chemists. “We typically have hundreds of positions open at any one time,” he says.Interestingly, […]
5:10 AM | This week's C&EN
Some interesting articles: I didn't know the first thing about PCSK9 inhibitors, but I feel a tiny bit more knowledgeable after reading Beth Halford's article.I sure would like to know more about the recent judgment against glyphosate by IARC; I am most interested in hearing about the laboratory animal studies. (article by Britt Erickson)Interesting article by Lisa Jarvis about Mike Varney, the new research head of Genentech. Anyone else intrigued by this statement? "The company has […]

March 30, 2015

11:04 AM | I accept mathematical bribes
Last Friday I traveled to American University and gave an evening talk, where I met Jeffrey Hakim, a mathematician and designer who openly bribed me. Don’t worry, it’s not that insidious. He just showed me his nerdy math wallet and said I could have one too if I blogged about it. I obviously said yes. […]
9:00 AM | Interesting ideas from the ACS Council at the Denver National Meeting: no elevator clauses, National Meetings "a la carte"
Pete Bonk is a Councilor from the Rhode Island section of the ACS and a friend of the blog. He wrote up some of his thoughts on this last ACS National Meeting in Denver and I thought it was worth discussion:...Council was livened up with an advisory vote of the Council to the Board, requesting that some of the built in escalator clauses for raising dues and meeting registration costs be held back.   I took an interesting turn as the financial health of the national meetings was discussed. […]
8:00 AM | The gender reading gap and love of learning
Two interesting education snippets. First, Brookings has released a new report that looks at the gender gap in reading: Girls outscore boys on practically every reading test given to a large population. And they have for a long time. A 1942 Iowa study found girls performing better than boys on tests of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and basic […]
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