March 28, 2014

6:46 PM | Interfacing GAMS and R
GAMS is perhaps THE programming language for developing and running optimization models. R is an excellent and efficient tool for analysing data, including producing attractive graphs. A tool for combining the two is provided with GDXRRW. GDXRRW acts as an interface between GAMS and R and offers facilities for the transfer of data between GDX […]
2:51 PM | The STEM contest: vote now!
Finally, it returns. Last month, I asked you all to come up with new words for the ridiculous acronym STEM, considering that, in my opinion, it confuses the issue and engenders bad thinking. Lots of you entered, and I promised that the winner would get "a certificate, a handwritten thank you note, a box of the finest Chemjobber business cards and a bag of hard candies". Well, it's time to vote. Here are the nominees that I chose:The Iron Chemist: "Salaries Terrible, Employment […]
2:30 PM | An interesting comment on the fine chemicals biz
Rick Mullin's blog on the fine chemical business is always worth a read; his comments on Albany Molecular's recent move is no exception: This week’s announcement that Albany Molecular Research Inc. will acquire Cedarburg Hauser Pharmaceuticals—a $41 million deal—has us on the verge of declaring a trend. You will recall that last October, AAIPharma purchased another Midwest active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) producer, Cambridge Major Laboratories. All we need is one […]
10:12 AM | Interview with a high school principal on the math Common Core
In my third effort to understand the Common Core State Standards (CC) for math, I interviewed an old college friend Kiri Soares, who is the principal and co-founder of the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women. Here’s a transcript of the interview which took place earlier this month. My words are in […]
Editor's Pick

March 27, 2014

3:13 PM | I'd laugh if I wasn't crying: clinical research organization hiring postdocs as interns
From the inbox, yet more evidence of a STEM shortage*:Camargo Pharmaceutical Services, a leading drug development organization specializing in the 505(b)(2) approval pathway, is adding expertise to its projects and helping postdoctoral researchers gain real-world experience through a unique internship program.In January 2014, four postdoctoral researchers joined the Camargo team at its growing Durham, N.C., location. Partnering with academic organizations, including Duke University, the […]
3:13 PM | Job posting: nuclear power plant chemist, Brownville, NE
From the inbox, an unusual position: POSITION SUMMARY: Implement and maintain chemistry, radiochemistry, radioactive effluents, and chemical control programs at Cooper Station to assure maximum performance, meet regulatory obligations/commitments, and comply with technical specifications and ODAM related to plant chemistry and radioactive effluents. The major aspects include ensuring instrumentation and process monitors are operated and maintained according to NRC, NPDES, Fuel […]
2:48 PM | Job posting: LC/MS scientist/lab manager, Baton Rouge, LA
From the inbox:Immediate opening for a LC/MS/MS Scientist and general laboratory manager. This opportunity will afford the selected candidate a unique opportunity for unlimited professional and personal growth in a rapidly growing toxicology laboratory.ExperienceMust have experience working within a clinical laboratory environmentHands on experience with LC/MS/MS in toxicology/pharmaceutical applicationsCLIA/COLA experienceMethod Development and Validation experience requiredManagement […]

March 26, 2014

3:46 PM | The horrors of redistribution
About a week ago, noted demographer Michael Teitelbaum took to the (online) pages of The Atlantic to speak to "The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage". Here's a great summary by Derek Lowe of the article, also noting that Teitelbaum has a book coming out about it. I'm really looking forward to reading it (an early Father's Day present, Mrs. CJ?). Anyway, here comes Robert Atkinson*, the president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation with a retort in Washington […]
3:11 PM | The economy that is Japan
Also (last one, promise) from this week's C&EN, an amusing aside on the need for the Japanese chemical industry to restructure (by Jean-François Tremblay): The complexity is no greater in Japan than it is elsewhere, Harnick says. But cultural differences play a role. “In Japan, there is a long-standing tradition and business practice where large corporations don’t like to be seen downsizing” or cutting jobs, he notes. At Mitsui, for example, no employee […]
2:52 PM | Process Wednesday: trifluoromethylation on kilogram scale
From this week's C&EN, a great article by Stephen Ritter on process chemistry*, including some really enjoyable coverage of this Boehringer Ingelheim work: In one presentation in Orlando, Jason A. Mulder of Boehringer Ingelheim described the challenge of scaling up the fluorination of a versatile synthetic intermediate that his company is using to make a family of new anti-infective drug candidates... ...Mulder’s target was synthesizing methyl […]
2:23 PM | The Lede Program: An Introduction to Data Practices
It’s been tough to blog what with jetlag and a new job, and continuing digestive issues stemming from my recent trip, which has prevented me from drinking coffee. It really isn’t until something like this happens that I realize how very much I depend on caffeine for my early morning blogging. I really cherish that […]

March 25, 2014

9:04 PM | Ask CJ: how long should a resume/CV be?
From the inbox, a good question from a experienced early-career medicinal chemist:I was curious what the appropriate CV/resume length is as well as if references should be included on the resume or just sent as a second document for other industry employment. Now that I think of it a follow up - how about publication list?  I have always assumed include it but it is getting a bit long.Seems to me that the answer to this is that if you get a request for a resume, you go for 2 pages, and […]
2:48 PM | What's the story with Phenomenex?
Can anyone talk (in the comments, or by e-mail) about what kind of company Phenomenex is to work for, and why they keep posting the same 3-4 positions ("organic surface chemist", etc.)?
5:37 AM | What's Genentech doing on Google's "Do Not Cold Call" list?
PandoDaily has been doing great work covering Google's involvement with Apple and other Silicon Valley companies in agreeing not to recruit other companies employees and avoiding driving up wages. But here's an interesting new little tidbit from the lawsuit:The following companies have special agreements with Google and are part of the “Do Not Cold Call” list. Effective March 6, 2005: • Genentech, Inc.• Intel Corporation• Apple Computer• Paypal, […]

March 24, 2014

9:13 PM | Age discrimination in Silicon Valley
I really wish it had a few more statistics attached to it, but this Noam Scheiber article about age discrimination was really eye-opening:...Just because overt age-discrimination is illegal doesn’t mean it never happens. In 2011, Google settled a multimillion-dollar claim brought by a computer scientist named Brian Reid, who had been fired when he was 54. Reid said colleagues and supervisors had frequently referred to him as “an old man” and “an old fuddy-duddy” […]
8:55 PM | People v. Patrick Harran continued yet again
From Jyllian Kemsley at The Safety Zone: University of California, Los Angeles, chemistry professor Patrick Harran had another trial court status check last week. The result is another status check scheduled for June 5. Harran faces trial on four counts of felony violations of the state labor code relating to the 2009 death of Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji from injuries sustained in a fire in Harran’s lab. The case is on hold in the trial court while a California appellate court […]
6:51 PM | What were the regulatory failures with the MCHM disaster?
From this week's C&EN, a letter stating a fairly common view of chemistry and industry and environmental issues:A recent issue of Wired magazine features a science blog by Deborah Blum on the toxicity of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM). It is a well-written piece of history and current information by a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer. Reading the blog made me, as a chemist, feel ashamed of the harms that have been visited upon our society by the chemical industry and those who […]
3:27 PM | This week's C&EN
Interesting tidbits in this week's C&EN:Another Indian plant gets the FDA import ban treatment. (Jean-Francois Tremblay)In other news, a consultant lays into Indian pharma manufacturing (and C&EN) in the letters section. Looks like federal R&D spending is going to be flat for a while. Loved this Stephen Ritter article on process chemistry. Lots of great reading here. Anyone want to talk new faculty mentoring? Rigoberto Hernandez does.
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