The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
Categories:

Archives:
Meta:
June 2021
S M T W T F S
« May    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  
06/08/21
Looking Forward Hacking and Data Privacy
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Leadership, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:16 pm

In the current and future world of communication, scientific
publication and pre-publication, grants and application, we
must be cautious of hacking and security.  A readable publication
worth while sharing is Hacking and Data Privacy .

.
On my reporting on the topic of the chemical enterprise this
year where we have covered surveillance topics, this book
is brought to your attention.  Leading take-aways include
.
1.  Nicole Perlroth on Cyber security
Spies and cyber criminals may be able to digitally access
any information they want.
   a.  Online, use 2-factor authentication
        Use GMail and Chrome web browser, as most secure
email and web platform
         Use encryption apps for sensitive online
communication [Signal, Telegram, etc]
         Never allow access to personal information [location]
         good password hygiene [phrases I can recall]
[carefully watch what is written online
cover computer camera when not in use]
.
2.  Resolutions
 - Update your software
 - Read Privacy policies for understanding
 - Delete unnecessary Aps
 - Use VPN
 - Protect your hardware with cases
.
3.  Windows world
 - Use Anti-virus software, update regularly, scan
regularly and when suspicious
of an encounter
 - Be wary of suspicious  emails, pup ups
and links
 - Have backups and a back up plan
 - Have a plan if you are infected
[know what to do immediately, plan to have
links on
desktop, document so you can recover]

comments (0)
05/26/21
Job Offer leading to ID Theft Krebs
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:52 am

This morning I heard a report by Krebs formerly of CISA,
the government arm monitoring internet threats.

.
It reminded me of a Krebs on Security report of FBI citing
a Linkedin impersonation scam relating to job offers.  The 
article provides signs to note that include:
 - offers where interviews are not conducted in-person or 
virtually in a secure video realm
 - candidates are contacted with non-company email or 
teleconference applications
 - candidates are required to acquire or purchase start-up
equipment from the company
 - candidates are required to sponsor or pay upfront background
investigations or screening
 - candidates are requested to provide credit card information
 - potential employers send a specific contract to physically sign
that asks for personal information
 - the company does not post job posting on its website that appears
on job boards
 - recruiters or managers in the company profiles are absent on 
the job board, or the profile does not match the responsibility
.
This could be valuable know how in this internet-rich environment.
comments (0)
05/14/21
Codebreaker by W. Isaacson
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:31 am

During the pandemic it was timely to read Walter Isaacson’s
“The Codebreaker” as it brought to life the transnational process
of understanding viral RNA infections leading to mRNA vaccines.

.
The book, while 700 pages, was so good I needed to gift it to our
daughter who was part of CRISPR projects.  Then our daughter-
in-law, a biologist, asked to get it too.  [I might just gift her a copy.]
.
Isaacson weaves a compelling story of how curiosity driven research
has led to actual treatments for congenital diseases.  It is often
related to Vannevar Bush’s report that offered
“basic curiosity driven research and science is the seed corn
that eventually leads to new technologies and innovations.  Harry
Truman launched NSF based on this report.”
.
Codebreaker also breaks into a timely description of patents
in this realm:
.
“Ever since the republic of Venice in 1474 passed a
statute giving the inventors of any new and ingenious
device the exclusive right to profit from it for 10 years
.
…Biological patents have a long history.  In 1873 the
French biologist Louis Pasteur was awarded the first
known patent for a microorganism:  a method for making
yeast free from organic germs of disease.  Thus, wee have
pasteurized milk, juice, and wine.”
.
“The modern biotechnology industry was born a century
later when a Stanford attorney approached Stanley Cohen
and Herbert Boyer and convinced them to file for a patent
on the method they had devised for the manufacturing of
new genes using recombinant DNA…”
.
Stories of the people involved in this incredible science
epic should be worth the time for scientists to peruse.  He
tells of competition leading to cooperation, mentoring and
collaboration.

comments (0)
04/30/21
Book: Adam Grant: Think Again
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:10 pm

Thoughtful reading in a time of uncertainty is Adam Grant’s
“Think Again”. 

It comes to mind in relation to a previous post on Multi Career 
Paths.
  Every time we discover new information, we can
1. attach our opinions to our identities (adjust)
2. stand our ground in stubbornness of preaching and prosecuting
or 
3. treat it like a scientific issue and evaluate with all the tools of
data collection, hypothesis testing, statistical inference and trial
and error
.
Some of my take-aways from the book include:
- Define our values, not our opinions
  chief among them– curiosity, continuous learning, mental 
 flexibility, new skills, interests, hobbies and habits

- When doubtful, reframe as a situation for growth 
  +learn something you do not know as a step for new 
 expertise,
  +find a way to emerge discovering something new

- Have each person you meet, teach you something
  +respect pushback
   +accept conflict, reframe as debate, rather than disagreement.

Written to teach us something.

comments (0)
04/19/21
TIP: Evaluating Science Stories- Fake or Supported with Data
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:05 am

Washington Post writer provided worthwhile guidance
on attention we should give to news stories.

1.  Peer Review source.  Peer review can take time.
Faster release happens with preprints, containing “RXiv”
as in MedRXiv and BioRXiv and ChemRXiv are not peer
reviewed, yet.
2.  Confirmation bias can inform our reading both for
and against a report.
3.  Correlation is a suggestion, not definite proof, tested
adequately.
4.  Experimental results should be compared to honest
and reflective control experiments.  Double blind controls,
sample size of experiment, subgroup interpretations,
nature (dose, animal vs. human, etc.) of test too.
5.  Headlines, source and big names can dominate.  
Beware.
6.  Political headwinds can blind science or technical report.
  
comments (0)
04/17/21
Thoughts on Attending ACS National Meeting
Filed under: Recent Posts
Posted by: site admin @ 4:30 pm

This was my second virtual ACS meeting and I
feel it far exceeded all my expectations.  It might be
worthwhile to reflect and share some things.

It goes along with Scott Galloway’s recent book, “Post Corona:
From Crisis to ‘Opportunity
” where he points out that much
will be dramatically different in our future and we should
prepare for it.
.
To begin, I have attended more than 75 society national 
meetings mostly in the US and many held by ACS.  There
are different objectives in attending technical society 
meetings. 
This latest meeting had me focus on using the 
ACS be the highway for learning…. about
      COVID mutations, therapies and vaccines,
      global climate modeling,
      micro-plastic waste reuse,
      mRNA and SIGLECs,
      data management for wider discipline use, and
      education in the post-Corona age.
.
My strategy for participation involved
 - serious review of the agenda (for nearly a week) to form
 a meeting outline before the meeting,
 - determine the best way to interact with speakers
 (early in the meeting:  plan to capture email addresses to
 contact speakers shortly after the meeting),
 - access supporting publications and follow up (COVID
 was the most intensive, as the Moderna mRNA and
Michigan State study of mutations and antibody
therapies were revealing)
.
Positive surprises were reported, as well, including
 -  critical challenges of water purification near semiconductor
processing facilities
 -  stories about chemistry before chemists (R. Hoffman)
 -  chemical education approaches:  CCI, use of movies,
FAIR standards data management and ethics
 - miniaturization of biological structures 
 -  
1 comment
04/09/21
How to deal with Job Offer
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:56 am

It is the middle of the ACS meeting.

I have attended more than a dozen Zoom presentations.  Yet I need to
share the following “bright note” that struck me:
.
J. T. O’Connell, “Never do these two things after getting a low ball offer”
1.  “Don’t take a low ball offer personally.”
2.  Avoid “Reacting with AFD [anger, frustration, disappointment] 
Instead, gather your thoughts, prepare a solid response and show your
mature approach and thinking.
.
Despite the lower offer, ask for two or three days to think it over.
.
In person or over zoom or phone, respectfully thank the offerer for the
generous offer.
.
J. T. wrote:
- honored that you chose me, admire what company aspires, agree
you area good fit
- this call is hard to make, offer features do not make your
minimum mark
- do not wish to waste time, trust if you are willing to work with me
to continue the conversation
.
She outlines three outcomes, yes, no and ‘approaching yes.’
If the firm adjusts its offer, they want your value.  Come to an
agreement, that both sides can be happy with.
.
Of course, ask for things in writing.  If there are legal restraints,
seek appropriate advice to protect yourself and word it precisely.

comments (0)
02/17/21
Chemical Enterprise and Surveillance Capitalism
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:54 pm

Computers, it was reported in 2020, quantum simulated a simple
chemical reaction.

.
John Pople and and Walter Kohn were awarded the Nobel for
contributions and developing the use of computers to understand
chemical structures with quantum mechanical concepts. (1998)
.
To my knowledge little has been described about the impact of
surveillance capitalism as described by Shoshana Zuboff on
the chemical enterprise.
.
Sure, we can order chemicals using computers, manage
accounting and monitor reactions by computers, but in many
realms from politics to social physics to organizational behavior
to raw economics, surveillance capitalism is dominating 
21st century life. 
.
It is commodification of personal data.  The
extension to chemistry where data is compiled and analyzed 
with computers is only a matter of time to find applications.  
6 comments
01/31/21
Virtual Meetings and Presentations
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:09 am

Oh! My gosh!
Recent issue of CEN had a page devoted to virtual presentations.
Were you left thinking:  what about screen sharing, What about file
sharing, what about “raising hands” and other details? [CEN 12-7-20,
p. 44]

.
I recall hosting virtual presentations for a class, holding classes
virtually due to snow closing, and attending virtual conferences
for various situations and groups.
.
While I recognize many constraints on CEN publications (ads,
graphics, font size, and layout), a brief search has discovered
a nice graphic for remote work,
tips for presentations ,
do’s and dont’s 
that may aid in preparations and execution.
.
Think about the program you use– Zoom, skype, google groups
Test presentation in advance and arrange for screen sharing 
arrangement.  (If some or all information is “dense” perhaps
send out in advance or arrange follow-up arrangement, like
google doc.)
.
Use a microphone, headphone and test elements in advance
with trial audience.  Either plug in power or fully charge,
have appropriate lighting, background, privacy settings,
no interference, even some questions set up in advance.
.
Plan for an agenda, arrive early and prepared, have a
clock in eye view, consider having hard copy with post-its
attached for remarks and call-outs.  Connect with appropriate
small-talk and situational introduction.  Note the use of a
mute key and avoid using keyboard or other distraction 
elements during the presentation.  Stay on time.
.
The presentation is for the audience.  How will you monitor
attention, response and feedback?  Will you seek questions
and comments throughout or at specific intervals?  Will
it be oral, will it be visual with text, will it be photos and 
graphics?  Have titles on slides that reveals the objective.
.
Your energy plays a role.  Consider standing if it helps.
That changes the dynamics of the camera and mic arrangement.
2 comments
01/16/21
Interviewing: Robin Roberts Master Class
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:05 pm

During the Pandemic quarantining I have been taking a
number of Master Classes.  At first I chose more than
a dozen about space, science, technology and economics.

The places where I was unfamiliar with the instructor
or topics were initially less of interest.
.
Then I decided to try Robin Roberts where she teaches
effective and authentic communication.  Am I surprised
by how much I believe she has something to say and 
great communication ability!  In her 6th lesson she reveals
in her unique way best practices to succeed in job interviews.
.
Some specific take-away comments were:
.
 - “make your mess your message”
.
 - “early detection is key” [for all ailments and problems]
.
 - “proximity is power” [you can influence your success by 
being in the right place at the right time.]
.
 - “Optimism is a muscle that gets stronger with use.”
.
Normal contracts for Master Classes are a bit pricey ($150- 
185 unlimited number of classes for a year   This is my 20th
class and my wife has viewed half dozen in 6 months).  There are
reasonable cancellation policies if you wish to discontinue.
See for a realistic review.
[I have searched for ways to view just this one class and
have not discovered any.  There may be a youtube file
that you can locate, however.]
2 comments
01/10/21
Career Management. Multi-career Paths
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:10 am

An email reached me about changing career paths
[from Zackary Crockett].

.
I will try to find a viable link
This can happen to many of us who are trained as
a scientist where technology takes a
hockey-stick-like shift in what methods and areas
of expertise are favored and successful.
.
Your mindset is your key to success, I can attest.
After grad school, I desired to apply myself to an
area where “the rubber meets the road”, practical
areas–  To work in industry
.
After doing this for several decades, in electrochemistry,
applied solid state and polymer chemistry, photography,
statistics, I learned from a national lab researcher that 
later in his career he sought areas where he noticed “gaps”
where he could bring knowledge and experience to bear.
It was a deciding moment.  My targets changed.
.
One area that is not mentioned in the Crockett story is
changes in your health and outlook, as our careers 
extend and our “perceived expertise” and creativity
might not fit our roles.  Nonetheless, I recommend the
article for it may help you.
comments (0)
01/07/21
WOW Factor How to Progress in Job Searches
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:41 am

During a career discussion with a Ph.D. who is figuring out
what to do next and what it takes to succeed, we talked about
“wow” factors of candidates that separates outstanding candidates
from good, yet unprepared, candidates.  [I use this term to be
kind to unsuccessful candidates.]

.
What is the “wow” factor and how can candidates achieve it?
.
Forbes described it in a Young Entrepreneurs Council discussion recently. 
-  go the extra distance and trying new avenues pursuing goals
      Curiosity
-  developing new interests by reading and with mentors
       Enthusiasm
-  adjusting to new realities while learning from the past
        Adaptability
-  while they may not grasp the culture of the interviewer, understanding
that culture fit will not be based on real skills on paper but attitude
and assertiveness
          Culture Fit
-  being a self starter and willingness to take direction while adding
in originality
           Doing the right things when no one is looking
=  getting things done in timely basis with a profit motive
           Work Ethic
-  being humble yet having self knowledge about strengths and
weaknesses
             Strengths and weaknesses, what are you doing about it
-  be able to describe your accomplishments in perspective
.
Realize that each one of us needs a tailored elevator pitch tuned to
why you want the position and you are a good candidate.  Also,
have personal reflections revealing wow factor elements that shows
who you are by your behaviors
2 comments
12/28/20
TIP: Linkedin Use during and after Pandemic
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 4:12 pm

Read a purposeful NYTimes articel by Charlette Cowles

that point out what professionals can and should do 
in Linkedin to help you meet your goals.
In a typical fashion for community networks, she lists
this Microsoft acquisition urges members to remain
active, whatever their current and future situation.
She advises to include true representative entries
into sections– photo, skills, certifications, active
networking, practice interviews, …
See for example.. 
                            2  
                             3  
comments (0)
12/08/20
Career Management 2020.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:35 pm

Following is a summary of this year’s entries with links.

You can find 2019 Career management HERE .
TIPS   Opt-In Notification Alert
            Recommendation- Things to NOT carry with you
            Detecting Software FAKES Photos, Movies
            COVID related issues and suggestions
            Senior Checking Accounts at Credit Unions
            Recommendation:  That Used to be Us [book]
            Passport Renewal Scam Alert
            Communicating Your Science
            Job Loss Follow Up Actions suggestions
            Independent Academic Consultant suggestion
            Academic.edu suggestion
            
Chemistry Genealogy
Bromine in the 21st Century
USA Jobs.gov  Suggestion
Electrochemistry in Space
Resumes.  Objective Section Suggestion
Recommended Books. 9. 
comments (0)
11/20/20
TIP Avoid Agreeing to Opt-In Notifications
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:53 pm

Chris Krebs has gotten appropriate notoriety for being fired recently.

The notoriety is for standing up to bombastic misbehavior and
practicing strong professional leadership in the cyber command.
in issue 17 he writes,
Website publishers who sign up with PushWelcome are asked
to include a small script on their page which prompts visitors
to approve notifications.   In many cases, the notification approval
requests themselves are deceptive — disguised as prompts to click
“OK” to view video ma
terial, or as “CAPTCHA” requests designed
to distinguish automated bot traffic from real visitors.

But many users may not fully grasp what they are consenting
to when they approve notifications, or how to tell the difference
between a notification sent by a website and one made to
appear like an alert from the operating system or another
program that’s already installed on the device.

This is evident by the apparent scale of the infrastructure
behind a relatively new company based in Montenegro called 
PushWelcome, which advertises the ability for site owners to
monetize traffic from their visitors. The company’s site currently
is ranked by Alexa.com as among the top 2,000 sites in terms of
Internet traffic globally.

comments (0)
10/31/20
TIP: Things Recommended Not to Carry with you
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:58 am

Fidelity Investment  provided an appropriate list of
personal documents and card that one should not carry
around on your person.  Losing them can be more than
uncomfortable.  And, we know how anxious we feel when
we forget or lose our wallet or purse…

.
Included items on the top of my list are:
  password cheat sheet
  blank checks
  passport card
  birth certificate
 . 
Some of these are not easy to replace.  One strong recommendation
is to scan front and back of all items in your wallet or purse and store
pertinent items in a secure location where you can gain easy access
(including what to do if lost numbers and addresses).
1 comment
10/20/20
TIP Software defects in FAKES
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:58 am

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/10/us/manipulated-media-tech-fake-news-trnd/

We need to be aware that various actors can manipulate
audio and video files for their purposes, not truthworthy.
The article helps us see how to detect defects.
Worth reading and learning.
1 comment
09/21/20
TIP COVID Related Issues Directions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:21 am

Read a timely contribution from Al Sklover, labor and 
workplace legal expert on Navigating Covid-19 related
Issues at Work.


He describes:

A. Request Information about the Workplace Safety
Measures Your Employer is Taking for Covid-19

B. Request an Exception, Modification or
Accommodation for Your Covid-19 Related Health or
Family Circumstances

C. Request Information, Forms and Procedures to
Take an FMLA Leave of Absence for Covid-19
Related Health  or Family Circumstances

D. If You are not Going Back for a Covid-19 Related
Reason, Consider Using an “Involuntary Resignation”
Letter to Preserve all of Your Options

E. If Applying for Unemployment Benefits, Explain
the Safety and/or Health Reasons You Are Not
Returning

F. If You are not Going Back for a Covid-19
Related Reason, Consider Requesting a Severance
Package

As always, Sklover’s blog contributions are most helpful.

comments (0)
09/14/20
TIP Senior Checking Accounts at Credit Unions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:35 am

We were at the last checking book for our credit union
account.  On the top of the book is a reminder sheet to
order the next checks at an email address.  So I went
through the filling the form exercise and it would charge
me more than $30 for plain checks.

.
That seemed much to high.  So I phoned the credit union
office.
.
Sandy, the representative , asked for our ages and determined
that seniors do not have to pay for new checks when ordered
through them.  I googled senior checking accounts and 
determined that this is a common practice.

.
As you approach your senior years and your parents do,
contact your credit union and ask for senior checking account
checks.
1 comment
09/09/20
That Used to be US
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Mentoring, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:38 am

Have you heard of that book?

No, well, I am here to tell you you are missing out on a real ice-breaker
of a nonfiction written by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum.
For decades there has been a struggle between the American economy’s
desire to constantly increase productivity and the desire to maintain
blue-collar jobs.  We watched

 - as more machines and cheaper workers replaced
American manual laborers
 - as loss of blue-collared jobs were
compensated for by creating white collar jobs
 - as we see the hyper connected world
threaten white collar jobs

We do it by inventing new white collar jobs, which requires
more start-ups and better education.

EMPLOYERS SEEK
Workers who can think critically, who can tackle nonroutine complex
tasks, and who can work collaboratively with teams located locally and
globally.
Critical thinking has become the basic price of admission.  Look for
proven ability to innovate.
Innovation is more than conceptual thinking.  It comes our of working
with the problem.  Working with the materials, on the line, seeing a
problem and devising a solution.  Every employee is part of the
process of continuous innovation.
EDUCATIONAL TRANSFORMATION REQUIRES WHOLE 
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT.
Graduation from high school is not enough.

Six improvements are proposed:
1. better teachers and better principals
the quality of an educational system can not exceed the 
quality of the teachers.  A principal recruits and retains great teachers.

WE NEED A NEW EDUCATIONAL ACADEMY MODELED 
AFTER MILITARY ACADEMIES.
Great teachers make the difference.  Colorado can be a model
for educational improvement
Education needs its “Tuskegee Moment”- prove that children can
compete with the world’s best.

2. more involved parents that demand more in children’s education.
3. politicians who push to raise standards
4. neighbors who invest in schools even if their children are not there.
5. business leaders committed to raising educational standards 

FRIEDMAN AND MANDELBAUM URGE
As globalization and IT merge, expand and advance, old
categories of developed and underdeveloped will disappear.
The world will be divided between high-imagination-enabling
countries that encourage and enable imagingation and
those countries that simply fail to develop people’s 
creative capacities and abilities to spark new ideas and 
nurture their extra special features.

Add to the three R’s of education– reading, writing and arithmatic
with the three C’s–  critical thinking, effective oral and written
communication, and collaboration.


comments (0)