While we do not wish this on anyone, being hacked by cyber-
thiefs and criminals can happen to you.
enterprise security. This may be a strategic effort for big and
small organizations in government, industry, academic
Test your backups. Have a written out plan on how to deal
with contingencies and update it periodically.
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]
- 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
- Have backups and a back up plan
- Have a plan if you are infected
[know what to do immediately, plan to have
desktop, document so you can recover]
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
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
- 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.
Thoughtful reading in a time of uncertainty is Adam Grant’s
It comes to mind in relation to a previous post on Multi Career
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
3. treat it like a scientific issue and evaluate with all the tools of
data collection, hypothesis testing, statistical inference and trial
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
+find a way to emerge discovering something new
- Have each person you meet, teach you something
+accept conflict, reframe as debate, rather than disagreement.
Written to teach us something.
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
2. Confirmation bias can inform our reading both for
and against a report.
3. Correlation is a suggestion, not definite proof, tested
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.
6. Political headwinds can blind science or technical report.
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.
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?
described it in a Young Entrepreneurs Council discussion recently.
- go the extra distance and trying new avenues pursuing goals
- developing new interests by reading and with mentors
- adjusting to new realities while learning from the past
- 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
- being a self starter and willingness to take direction while adding
Doing the right things when no one is looking
= getting things done in timely basis with a profit motive
- being humble yet having self knowledge about strengths and
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
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, …
Following is a summary of this year’s entries with links.
You can find 2019 Career management HERE
USA Jobs.gov Suggestion
It is not enough to do good research on topics of interest and
importance. You need to formulate a strategy to present your
work so that it is read by a wider audience and referenced
as a meaningful contribution.
- attractive title”\
- storytelling introduction providing implications
- broad access (I am a supporter of open-access. Also, provide
independent links in your online presence sites to google docs,
- outreach (this is not often promoted in science communities.)
The author wrote:
“…seek out readers. …Reach out to potential audiences…
It is important to take the time to help a general audience
understand the bigger picture of whatever you do …social media,
local media, professional media.”
Broad outreach can yield interviews and support future attempts
to scientific collaboration and application.
We are into the 6th month of the Pandemic that affects
all industries and the chemical enterprise, including
universities and funded research. While I could list several
things to do,
The ACS does a creditable job in the following link.
Please consider three related things regardless of what stage
your career is in?
1. Be prepared for a job loss or unexpected job change.
Regularly line up your public relations documents and digital
2. Continue to learn new skills and expand your abilities
new and emerging areas, in-demand strength areas and areas
where you know or have been advised you need improvement.
3. Extend a helping hand to others. Let them know you are
there for them. Work hard at it, as it is amazing how much this
will mean no matter where you are in your career growth path.
[mentor others, offer strong recommendations, promote people
for honors, awards and honorary designations, if you are authoring
a technical journal article consider mentioning recognition of
a teacher or mentor]
I get bombarded with you have been cited notices
in one of my email accounts. Then I received a half
off subscription email. This is so common these
days, so I checked into it and share…
Is Academia Edu legit?
As mentioned in the last post, something that may be of interest
is for us chemists to learn about our heritage, our familial
My Academic Genealogy follows the academic paths of my
senior thesis adviser, Bob Alendoerfer, from SUNY Buffalo, and
Ernest Grunwald, doctoral thesis adviser from Brandeis University.
My career path information is provided in the Linkedin.com
Also, my career path found me involved in a number of
projects and departments for Esso Research/Exxon Research/
ExxonMobil and Polaroid Corporations, the University of
Connecticut Chemistry Department, and as a career
consultant/workshop presenter for American Chemical
-Advanced Battery Project Zinc Bromine Flow Batteries
co-workers: Bhaskara M. L. Rao, Paul Malachesky, Richard
Bellows, Tom Whitney, Augie Venero
Lithium Ion Batteries
co-workers: B. M. L. Rao, M. Stan Whittingham, Bob Hamlen,
Joe Shropshire, Bob Thomas, Al Groman
-Solar Photovoltaic Project: Polycrystalline Silicon - Solar
co-workers: Jim Amick, Paul Maruska, Tom Feng, Amal Ghosh
-Shear Thickening Fluid Technology for Oilfield Problems
co-workers: Don Siano, Evelyn Drake
Negative Manufacturing: Silver Halide Emulsion Production
co-workers: Ed Brandenburg, Bob Woeller, Mike Riebe,
co-workers: John Cabral, Jackie Pires, Jack Horrigan, Nimi
Natan, Sandy Levine, Don Preissler
Six Sigma Projects
co-workers: Chuck Page, , Brad Pires, Barry Mahoney,
Freeman Chen, Emil Cuiczak, Mike Young,
Bonnie Ferreira, Project Bridge Teachers
Health, Environmental And Safety
co-workers: Dick Chandler, Dave Morreale, Mike Walters,
Sean Riley, John LeFevbre, Tony Pisano, Dick
University of Connecticut
Department of Chemistry
Colleagues. collaborators: Amy Howell, Steve Suib, Patrick
Gordon, Doug Adamson, Marisha Godek,
Chris Eustace, Brenda Eustace, Lisa Balbes
Let me pose an idea for Chemists that builds on the naming of
the Periodic Table as the topic of the year a couple of years ago.
We all noticed that scientists volunteered a story about their
Throughout my career Bromine has been a common
denominator of research, manufacturing and enterprise. So I
have created a document telling its story that I have pulled
together from a number of fields with a 21st century perspective…
that entails knowing about toxicology, ozone depletion,
biochemistry, and even geology and historical uses and abuses.
I encourage others to create their own favorite element story and
I will gladly list their perspectives in this blog. [To my mind,
CEN tried to give one page, edited views that missed a valuable
opportunity to teach about advances and new notions.]
Another opportunity I wish to suggest people learning about is
their “Scientific Genealogy”. That could be not only the
university department from which each of us attended and
graduated from, but also teachers and their teachers, colleagues
and their contributions. Think about it and the value it would provide.
David Brooks, The Second Mountain: A Quest for a Moral Life,
RandomHouse, NY 2019
Rachel Maddow, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State
Russia, and the Richest Destructive Industry on Earth, Crown, NY, 2019
David E. McCaw, Truth in our Times: INSIDE THE FIGHT FOR PRESS
FREEDOM IN THE AGE
OF ALTERNATIVE FACTS, All Points Books, NY
THE ROAD TO UNFREEDOM: RUSSIA, EUROPE
Tim Duggan Books, NY 2018
Preet Bharara, Doing Justice: A PROSECUTOR’S THOUGHTS ON CRIME
AND THE RULE OF LAW, Alfred Knopf NY 2019
Doris Kearns Goodwin, LEADERSHIP
IN TURBULENT TIMES, Simon &
Schuster, NY, 2018
Clint Watts, Messing with the Enemy: SURVIVING IN A SOCIAL MEDIA
HACKERS< TERRORISTS, RUSSIANS ANND FAKE NEWS,
HarperCollins, NY 2018
NYT takes up Google-Alphabet-Uber law suit against Anthony
Levandowski regarding trade secrets of files when he left in 2016.
The article reports:
The statute defines the class of proprietary property “trade secret” as
“any form and type of financial, business, scientific, technical,
economic or engineering information, including patterns, plans,
compilations, programs or codes, whether tangible or intangible, and
whether or how stored, compiled or memorialized physically,
electronically, graphically, photographically or in writing….
But for information to qualify as such its owner must take
“reasonable measures to keep such information secret and derive
independent economic value from its not being generally known.
The prosecutor must also show that transfer was done by improper
means, meaning theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or
inducement of a breach of duty to maintain secrecy, or espionage
through electronic or other means. The statute does not define
reverse engineering or other lawful means as such.
Toxic chemical ingredient cannot
be a trade secret (Metzger
Withheld toxicological ingredient information
medical treatment pursuit for employee exposure cases (LSU
describes in more detail than NYT some steps that the
owning company must take to protect the trade secret. In rapidly
evolving industries not all the privacy steps are taken and documented.
Reader, whether on cell phone, laptop, tablet or
desk top, you may have a general preference, or not. Yet,
most will use your cell phones for many communication
and data managing. In fact you may even control
experiments via cell phones.
This post is not offering a recommendation for your choice.
It is aimed at alerting you to the real problem of losing
control of your identity by making public your cell phone
This is something you should carefully limit, like giving
out your id or password.
Online hackers are targeting cell phone numbers increasingly
as their use for many things increases. An article by M.
Stokes highlights a half dozen items that may signal your
cell phone number has been hacked– shorter battery life,
interrupted performance, increased data use, uninitiated
calls or texts from your phone, and mysterious pop-ups and
trapped into a cell phone hacking situation. It is worth
Do you reckon how many situations you “choose” to accept
a subscription? Your yearly membership in ACS– subscription
[how many years have you been a member?] , Marriott hotel
chain ‘elite’ member, Netflix subscription, Amazon ‘prime’,
New York Times online subscription, journal subscriptions
(both personal and institution). Business has adopted the
model that individuals do not ‘own’ things, memberships,
and even personal items. It is evolving to ‘things-as-a service.’
and others have indicated a change to the time
covered the subscription model in some detail showing
how they use AI and collect and parse your personal data for
increased sales without human interaction.
Marketing is different for ownership and subscription models.
Ownership is driven by getting you interested in one time
purchase. Whereas subscription marketing has
-streamlined purchasing, with the company knowing
everything about you
-advertised easier returns and breaking off subscription,
if satisfaction is not met
-with the aim to keep you as a subscriber, there a regular
upgrades and improvements, new content and features
-many subscription services allow you to pick specific
items for your needs and wants.
Know that the chemical enterprise is already deeply
involved in the subscription model. R&D is likely to
be headed there.
It is just as hard now, as it was in the past, to assess reports
of data. In the past, one would have to wait until there was
enough sample size using the specific question. So often
now we need to assess the bias inherent in the source.
[If data is published in peer reviewed journals by a variety
of established authors, it is likely worth using the results and
conclusions. What must be factored in is that publications support
awarding of grants and promotions. Publications represent
a time-honored path. Things can be proven wrong, but rarely
do these kinds of results find the light of day.]
Think about business news or about scientific data, hypotheses
and conclusions in “news.” So much is hampered by bias from
various sources. In science, we speak about the importance of
controls or control charts and sample size. The logic of
conclusions and validity of models also play essential roles.
There is an equivalence in the non-scientific world of looking
at ‘news cycles’ and marketing of ideas. In addition, we are
encouraged to realize the emotional content and repeat frequency
with catchy easy phrases that sway human thinking when there
is not an equally persuasive rebuttal.
There was a time when audiences believed that there was an
editor and fact checker for what is reported in media. It seems
like this is no longer the case as the money driven enterprises
seek ready-viewers and ready-readers. So common now summaries
of habits miss that dimension.
Nonetheless, polls depend on the question raised, options of
answers, the sample size and variety, timing and context.
They are of a different “reality.”
to report, consume and believe the news we pay attention to.
It is of high value to highlight journalism best practices
using the scientific method.
Debilitating illness related to stress may not happen to you
for a long time. It happened to me, a Ph.D. after 3 1/2 years
of grad school with 3 hot offers a month after my defense and
a meaningful 44 year career in three major fields and an
unbelievable post career retirement.
Working out at a gym on an elliptical machine, I fainted (medical
term syncope) because blood did not get to my brain due to
blocked arteries. Ends up a cardiac cathetarization found
blockage in my main artery in the heart leading to open heart
triple bypass surgery. That was a year ago and resulted in a
major life change. Back to near normal again, thankfully.
What did I learn?
Take care of yourself. Manage your diet, weight, physical exercise,
annual physical. Even that is not enough, for I did that. There are
genetic contributions but it is occurring more and more frequently
as we live longer.
Family and friendships
make all the difference. I believe it is part of taking care of yourself
by looking after others in your
close circle. The stresses I see grad students point out
are real. It
is important to factor that element into your career path choice.
for recognizing this.]
Time management and organization. To me it seems to start with
goal setting and prioritization. Whether it is in grad school, post-
doc, or ina part time or full time career path position, figure out what
it is you wish to attain or grow or benefit from your effort.
Recognize any significant goal requires effort. The higher the goal,
can say something to others about you.
Work hard to develop strong personal relations with your adviser,
supervisor and mentors. Your success is part of what they wish for
as well. Share your goals with them and ask for advice. You will
be surprised by how you can be helped. Then when it is your turn,
pay it forward to others.
Stress is a root cause of diseases. WebMD points our eight stress
inducing medical issues:
- Heart disease. …
- Asthma. …
- Diabetes. …
- Headaches. …
- Depression and anxiety. …
- Gastrointestinal problems. …
- Alzheimer’s disease.
- Other conditions related to stress include:
- The common cold. …
- Weight gain. …
- Slower healing. …
- Sleep dysfunction. …
- Depression. …
- Ulcers and other stomach problems. …
- Back, neck and shoulder pain.
Don’t take things for granted.! Recognize subtle things
happen when you are stressed and it may not happen