November 06, 2014

7:37 PM | I don't think Impostor Syndrome ever goes away
This past week, Beth Haas posted on Impostor Syndrome and how she felt a little odd about being at her new workplace:I realized I was asking everyone around me for permission to be there, and that was undermining my confidence. I don't need anyone's permission to do my job. I'm the real deal, not an impostor. Like the spy movie cliché, people tend to assume you belong and you know where you're going. You just have to act like it. Do it long enough, and you might just fool […]
4:21 PM | How do you disrecommend someone?
I have been extraordinarily remiss in not linking to C&EN's Employment Outlook section, but as readers may have sensed, it has been busy here this week. So, to rectify that, 3 links: Sophie Rovner's broad economic outlook is quite interesting, especially the focus on Paul Hodges' thoughts. It's worth a look, especially the ending paragraphs where they focus on the unemployment amongst East Coast pharma scientists versus the need for petrochemical workers in the Gulf region. Susan […]
3:30 PM | Daily Pump Trap: 11/6/14 edition
Good morning! A few of the industrial positions posted at C&EN Jobs this week:Fort Washington, PA: Vitae Pharmaceuticals is hiring a senior director of process chemistry. Pretty cool.Lionville, PA: West Pharmaceutical Services is looking for a principal analytical chemist with an LC/MS bent.North Chicago, IL: AbbVie with more process chemistry positions; also, a medicinal chemistry position in Shanghai. (heh)Austin, TX: This "chemometrician" position is obviously with a defense contractor […]
3:13 PM | Ivory Filter Flask: 11/4/14 edition
Good morning! A few of the academically-related positions posted at C&EN Jobs this week: Columbus, OH: This Data Analytics position at the Ohio State University's quite striking:The College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University seeks applications to fill a tenure-track faculty position in Data Analytics at the Assistant Professor level within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  The successful applicant will develop and apply novel computational methods […]
12:23 PM | Nerd catcalling
This is a guest post by Becky Jaffe. It has come to my attention that I am a nerd. I take this on good authority from my students, my friends, and, as of this morning, strangers in a coffee shop. I was called a nerd three times today before 10:30 am, while I was standing […]
12:14 AM | Job posting: assistant professor, Conway, AR
From the inbox: The Department of Chemistry at the University of Central Arkansas invites applications for a tenure-track position beginning Fall 2015.  The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry or closely-related discipline and a strong commitment to teaching, research, and service at the undergraduate level.  Course responsibilities include organic chemistry, organic spectroscopy, and general organic/biochemistry for health science fields.  Complete […]

November 05, 2014

4:06 PM | The Most Unexpected Mention of EPR You'll See This Week
In the middle of a very interesting, poignant and not-too-surprising article about people struck by lightning:Over the past three decades, Cooper has written articles on lightning safety, helped set up websites for survivors, and published many academic papers. A link on her UIC page points visitors to most of her work on the topic, including studies with esoteric titles such as “Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Evidence of Increased Free Radical Generation and Selective […]
12:07 PM | Going to Haiti next week
I’m off to Haiti next week, for a week, with my buddie and bandmate Jamie Kingston. I was trying to figure out what to do with the blog while I was gone, and so I asked sometimes-guest blogger Becky Jaffe to cover for me (some of you may remember her Hip Hop’s Cambrian Explosion series […]

November 04, 2014

3:27 PM | This week's C&EN
Busy day yesterday, apparently. A few non-employment related tidbits from this week's C&EN:I still marvel at the details of the history of the birth control pill that are being hashed out in the letters to C&EN. Worthwhile look by Lisa Jarvis into the academic/pharma collaboration model. (reg) Sounds positive right now -- will be interesting to see what shakes out in 3 years or so. This isn't going away, is it? I wonder if it has lowered pharma's R&D costs? This […]
8:31 AM | Genome Wide Association Studies and socioeconomic outcomes
A few months back, I posted about a Conference on Genetics and Behaviour held by the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group at the University of Chicago. In that post, I linked to a series of videos from the first session on the effect of genes on socioeconomic aggregates. Over the last couple of days, I watched the […]

November 03, 2014

4:44 PM | More soon, but first...
This is a screenshot from last Thursday's ACS Webinars on "the future of medicinal chemistry" with speakers from both Pfizer and Gilead.Isn't it time that industrial expectations of incoming Ph.D. medicinal chemists be laid out in a more systematic or quantitative fashion? I would find a single sentence such as "95% of our recent Ph.D. chemist hires have published one JACS article and was scored highly for their job talk" much more informative.More later. 
12:36 PM | “Hand To Mouth” and the rationality of the poor
Here’s one thing that you do as a mathematician a lot: change the assumptions and see how wildly the conclusions change. You usually start with lots of assumptions, and then see how things change when they are taken away one by one: what if the ring isn’t commutative? What if it doesn’t have a “1”? […]

November 02, 2014

7:11 PM | Is there really an oil glut?
Back in March 1999 "The Economist" magazine carried a cover photo of two men drenched in oil as they attempted to close a faulty valve that was spraying a huge stream of crude skyward. Over the photo was the headline: "Drowning in oil." At the time it really did seem as if the world were drowning in oil.The previous December crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange touched $10.72 per barrel. That month U.S. gasoline prices averaged 95 cents per gallon. "The Economist" opined that oil might […]
Editor's Pick

November 01, 2014

11:50 AM | Aunt Pythia’s advice
Well, hello and good morning! Glad you all could make it onto Aunt Pythia’s magic bus today! I’ve redecorated to celebrate Daylight Savings Time (or rather, the end of it): Daylight savings time has made Aunt Pythia very happy today, because it means an extra hour for me to focus on you, you and your […]

October 31, 2014

2:06 PM | BOO
Inspired by @wordsofmercury
2:00 PM | Product review: Perkin Elmer's Elements electronic notebook
Friend of the blog Philip Skinner kindly donated to Geek Girl Con's DIY Science Zone. As it is my policy that any over-$20 donation gets their own blog post, Philip asked me to look at Perkin Elmer Informatics' new electronic notebook software, Elements.Electronic lab notebooks have already penetrated most larger scientific organizations, industrial or academic. Smaller companies or universities may not have the institutional support to offer a standard electronic notebook format.Towards that […]
1:38 PM | Media Posts and Stories
Articles, interviews, blog posts, and other news items published in the lay media about the Principled Societies Project and the LEDDA Partnership are collected here. News releases issued by Principled Continue Reading → The post Media Posts and Stories appeared first on Principled Societies Project.
1:27 PM | In defense of the rainbow flame demonstration
VTJ has previously written in the comments in defense of the "rainbow flame" demonstration and has advocated strongly and eloquently against a blanket ban. I've invited VTJ to comment more: Use of methanol in school and outreach-related demos has been the subject of a lot of attention and discussion. While some of the articles that I have seen recommend what I would call appropriate precautions (see the CSB guidelines), many people have advocated elimination of these demos from our […]
1:19 PM | Daily Pump Trap: 10/30/14 edition
A few of the positions posted on C&EN Jobs in the last week:Irving, TX: ITW Polymers is looking for a B.S./M.S. polymer chemist with 3-7 years of experience, depending on degree. Sounds like there's some interaction with the production side. 70-100k offered.Bridgewater, NJ: Henkel is looking for a B.S. chemist to be a senior development chemist towards urethane adhesive technology.Rolla, MO: This buyer/material sourcing position (B.S./M.S. chemist desired) sounds interesting; I wonder […]
10:54 AM | Tailored political ads threaten democracy
Not sure if you saw this recent New York Times article on the new data-driven political ad machines. Consider for example, the 2013 Virginia Governor campaign won by Terry McAuliffe: …the McAuliffe campaign invested heavily in both the data and the creative sides to ensure it could target key voters with specialized messages. Over the […]
9:15 AM | A week of links
Links this week: A good Jared Diamond interview. The 10,000 hours rule – the best you can do is find the peak of your own ability. Tinder works because a picture is “worth that fabled thousand words, but your actual words are worth… almost nothing”. (HT: Razib) Dumb incentives, although economists would be the first to point […]

October 30, 2014

3:40 PM | CSB releases recommendations on classroom methanol-related demonstrations
The Chemical Safety Board has released recommendations for classroom demonstrations involving flammable/hazardous materials:The press releaseThe detailed safety bulletin (don't miss the stills of the methanol jug catching on fire) calls for safety reviews, PPE for participants, no bulk containers of MeOH near flames when smaller amounts will do.Calais Weber is the student injured in a fire a few years back; her story was covered in their video (and covered on this blog.) She had a […]

October 29, 2014

10:58 AM | Core Econ: a free economics textbook
Today I want to tell you guys about, a free (although you do have to register) textbook my buddy Suresh Naidu is using this semester to teach out of and is also contributing to, along with a bunch of other economists. It’s super cool, and I wish a class like that had been available […]
9:39 AM | Improving behavioural economics
A neat new paper has appeared on SSRN from Owen Jones – Why Behavioral Economics Isn’t Better, and How it Could Be (HT: Emanuel Derman via Dennis Dittrich). My favourite part is below. As I have said many times before, giving a bias a name is not theory. [S]aying that the endowment effect is caused by Loss […]

October 28, 2014

2:50 PM | Daily Pump Trap: 10/28/14 edition
A few of the positions posted on the C&EN Jobs website recently:St. Louis, MO: Monsanto desires a Ph.D. chemist to perform research into microbial formulations -- sounds fascinating. (What kind of technology is this aimed at?)Silver Spring, MD: WSSC is a municipal water utility; they're looking for a laboratory QA/QC position. 61-103k for a B.S., 5+ years experience.West Springfield, MA: Cyalume is, once again, looking for a senior chemist at its facility. High turnover?Ever wonder what an […]
2:40 PM | Ivory Filter Flask: 10/28/14 edition
A few of the academically-related posted posted recently at C&EN Jobs:New York, NY: Columbia University is looking for an assistant professor of chemical biology. Also, a professor of organic chemistry is being sought. (Interesting addition of "non-tenured associate professor".)Durham, NC: This Duke University "therapeutic bioengineering" professorship sounds fascinating.And across the way...: UNC - Chapel Hill is looking for a M.S./Ph.D. chemist for a lab coordinator position.Urbana, […]
11:15 AM | The war against taxes (and the unmarried)
The American Enterprise Institute, conservative think-tank, is releasing a report today. It’s called For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America (I will add a link when I can find it online), and there is also an event in DC today from 9:30am til 12:15pm that will be livestreamed. The report takes a look […]

October 27, 2014

3:40 PM | Someone really doesn't like Fazlul Sarkar
For those of you following along at home, Retraction Watch has been covering the story of Wayne State professor Fazlul Sarkar. Thanks to anonymous commenters at PubPeer uncovering some obvious image manipulation issues, he's had a distinguished professor position at the University of Mississippi withdrawn. Because of this, he's subpoenaing PubPeer to make them give up the IP addresses of the commenters so that he can sue them. As laughable as that is, I note this little tidbit […]
3:17 PM | Any good theories about the airbag recall?
So I have a theory on the airbag recall which came from this NPR story:SHEPARDSON: Right. The issue is the propellant in the airbags, the material that actually explodes the airbag into your face, you know, milliseconds after sensors detect a crash is about to happen or has happened, in some cases is damaged and as a result - and what investigators believe is that's mostly linked to high humidity areas where - so in other words, after being exposed to humidity, they're more likely to have […]
3:10 PM | A safety letter on TMS-azide
This week's C&EN has a safety letter from the University of Minnesota's Taton group that had an accident with TMS-azide that I've covered here. Don't miss the follow-up by Neal Langerman below: We recently conducted a synthesis of azidotrimethylsilane (TMS-N3) that resulted in an explosion, significant damage to the reaction hood, and injuries to a student researcher. Although it is still not entirely clear what caused the explosion, it seems likely that the reaction and isolation […]
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