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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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01/20/19
Professional Profiles. 3.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:55 am
Profile
Field Application Scientist

- What do you say when asked about your personal style and responsibilities?

I think I am  a “people person.”  I enjoy talking about science with peers. I try to engage with customers with friendly approach, which is critical in my position as I need to develop good working collaborations with them.  I chose to become field applications scientist because I thought it would give me opportunities to communicate science without having to do it inside four walls.  As a field applications scientist (FAS) I have two main responsibilites- 1) presales-  as a technical expert help account managers to drive business in a given territory.   2) to help customers in their projects (like a consultant) after they adopt our product and train them in using it. This is where friendly approach is useful because customers then feel comfortable talking about their projects openly with me. 
.

- Are you challenged?  What stresses you?

The current job responsibilities offer many challenges with exciting opportunities. The challenging part is understanding customer needs and delivering customer centric presentations. there is always some stress when you need to convert to sale and help account managers do that. but luckily FASs are not required to close deals.
Another exciting and challenging responsibility is to stay abreast in latest scientific developments. Let it be new scientific applications for the technology or developments related to clinical trials of a new drug and how company’s product would help in that.  
.

- Describe your title, how long you have been in your role and your most enjoyable responsibilities and tasks.

I have been working as FAS for almost three years. and I currently enjoy it for aforementioned reasons. 


- How did you land your current position?  Do you continuously keep an open
mind to changing positions?  How long should we stay in our positions?

I got this position through networking with recruiters. (my previous job was also through developing connection at a scientific conference). I am open for changing positions when there is a feeling of saturation or when there are no more opportunities for growth at current position. it is important to not get into comfort zone– Growth follows if we take on new challenges.  
.

- What do you believe aided you in being awarded your position?

I think having a proactive approach during job applications helped me secure current position. for example- learning how to prepare a good resume, discussing with mentors and peers about my career interests, staying in touch with recruiters and my network.

.
- Have you refused an offer that you think you should have taken?  What were the factors in your decision?

I did refuse one Postdoc offer. It is always difficult to refuse an offer that you already accepted, but when I look back, I think I made a very good decision. That time I had another offer for Applications position. Then I considered- what my priorities are, does the postdoc position offer me ample opportunities to grow my career where i would like it to be. The applications position seemed to be fulfilling those priorities, so I made decision to refuse postdoc position. Having said that, I knew this would cause inconvenience to the PI, so I remembered to acknowledge that, apologized for the inconvenience that my decision would cause  and suggested few good candidates that were suitable for the Postdoc position. 

.
- What opportunities and challenges do you see provide growth for you?

Opportunity to work on the commercial side while keeping close contact with R&D has been very helpful. 
In addition,working for sales is quite challenging. I believe, B2B sales gives lot of opportunities to grow in career. It can develop some personal skills and gives exposure that can have major impact in career.

.
- What are ways that you go out of your way to expand your network?

I attend conference meetings, try to connect secondary connections through one on one meetings etc. 
.

What comments do you wish to make for people who are graduating or planning on moving on in the next year?


My suggestion would be to keep career options open. And If you do the same thing that you are good at, it wont open new opportunities. So be open for new ideas, skills, and opportunities. 

Also, i remember that during my job application process while at graduate school, I had to take “inside-out” approach. Meaning, i had to learn how the job market is, learn how to write a resume that is specific to the job posting, what do employers expects from applicants etc - you sell what other person wants to buy. Not to sell something that you have but the other person is hardly interested in. What I mean by this is that, in resumes, graduate students often highlight their academic achievements which industry may not care about rather than looking at the job responsibilities and what is needed. ( i remember making such mistake in my first few resumes)  
comments (0)
01/19/19
Professional Profiles. 2.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:42 am
Profile:
MSL+ Medical Science Liaison
 I have always looked ahead to what might be next-where is there a gap. That’s what will keep people employed in my opinion.
Principal Research Scientist and Technical Fellow

Professional Development Facilitator, University

- What do you say when asked about your personal style and responsibilities?
When you say “style” I immediately think of management style-I think because that’s so critical to success in a job whether you’re the manager, or you’re being managed as an individual contributor. They say people don’t quit jobs, they quit bad bosses, and in my case that’s definitely true. I stayed at a job where I wasn’t properly rewarded/recognized/compensated for many years because I had a great boss who supported me and my ideas, gave me freedom and didn’t micromanage me, and protected me from the “nasties” in the company so I could do my work without needless interruptions and political bologna. In short, I knew he had my back. That’s worth more than any amount of money. I think that understanding that everyone has a life outside of work, and certain stresses-whether they be familial, marital, health, financial, whatever-is key to being a successful manager. If you can support your employees when they need flexibility it engenders a deep sense of loyalty. And that’s part of why I stayed at that job so long!
.
Responsibilities-here what comes to mind are moral and ethical considerations when working at a large corporation. Money is the ruler of the roost. It’s not easy to stand up and shoot down a project that’s looks like an “easy win” for the business because it’s bad science or it might hurt a patient. But that’s the job of a scientist. That means there are some people who will not like you. It’s important to hold true to your moral compass when faced with bullies who are just trying to push their own agenda, collect a big fat bonus check, and be long gone before the shit ever hits the proverbial fan. Scientists and engineers tenures tend to be much longer than business partners who turn over every 2-5 years. They have a lot less to lose.
.
- Are you challenged?  What stresses you?
Challenged as in intellectually? Seldom. Interested, often. Mostly the challenging part of my work is dealing with the personalities and egos present everywhere (my own included). What stresses me out is not feeling a sense of place in a the company (not being valued) or feeling like the work isn’t valued.

.
- Describe your title, how long you have been in your role and your most enjoyable responsibilities and tasks.
Currently, MSL. About one year. Most enjoyable task is rounding with the surgeons and meeting patients who have received our therapy-there is nothing better. 

.
- How did you land your current position?  Do you continuously keep an open
mind to changing positions?  How long should we stay in our positions?
Word of mouth.

Yes.
It depends on the job, the economy and personal factors such as home life-marriage, family, ageing parents. kids in school, ability to sell a house, et cetera. You (generally) have the most freedom before you start collecting a large paycheck and take on a mortgage and family…maybe a boat or a lovely pair of horses. (LOL).
.
- What do you believe aided you in being awarded your position?
My experience and openness to move to a riskier situation.
- Have you refused an offer that you think you should have taken?  What were the factors in your decision?

Possibly-I declined an offer in Europe just out of grad school (with what was at the time Synthes, in Oberdorf Switzerland). It was a great offer but I couldn’t pull the trigger and I wasn’t sure why. Several months later my dad was diagnosed with cancer and he was dead within the year. If I had taken that job I would have missed the last months of his life. Trust your gut, even if you don’t understand it. 

- What opportunities and challenges do you see provide growth for you?
Changing to new technology platforms that are very different than what I have experience in-it changes the way you think about approaching problems and exposes you to new ways of doing things. 

Teaching and teaching others to teach-never easy. 
Service work-there are so many people who have problems we don’t know about and we may have solutions they need-it could be a great product or device to help someone. 

- What are ways that you go out of your way to expand your network?
Even when I’m tired I meet people-for lunches, or attend events they’re going to. There’s nothing as good as face time with people in your network. Keep a broad network of people older and younger than you-you can learn from both. I try to check in with people a couple of times a year and if I know they attend a specific conference plan ahead to meet up. A large network of people who you don’t know, or who don’t care about you is pretty useless in my opinion. Your network will grow over time, like a garden. If you plant too much you can’t care for any of it properly. Select and tend to relationships that you care about the most, and over time you will see the fruits of your labors. 


What comments do you wish to make for people who are graduating or planning on moving on in the next year?
Plan carefully, but once you’ve looked at all the factors don’t use your brain, use your heart. You’ll make the right decision. 



+  MSL = requires a “D” degree-so MD, PharmD or PhD. It used to be a minimum of 10 years of experience but now new grads can get these jobs. It kind of depends on the company and what they are looking to do. I honestly don’t feel super qualified to talk about MSL roles as mine is kind of odd. There is an MSL society.

comments (0)
01/15/19
Professional Profiles. 1
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:50 am

This blog entry is aimed at exposing introspection.  Asking what
are each of us are thinking and feeling.  I asked several individuals
if they would be willing to respond to a series of questions.
.

I read an article about goal setting for different personality types
recently and wish to offer an alternative vein of thought.  It starts
with WE CANNOT PREDICT THE FUTURE.  But we can learn
from experience.
.
The questions:

1. Describe your title and most enjoyable responsibilities and
tasks?

2. How did you land your current position?

3. What do you believe aided you in enhancing your candidacy?

4. What opportunities and challenges do you see to provide
growth for you?

5. What is your experience for the length of time for positions
before you see people?

6. Moving on to another professional positions?

7. What are special ways in which you expand you network?

8. What comments do you wish to make for people who are
graduating or planning on moving on in the next year?

=========================
Starting with the first profile– 

Positions:  Applied Researcher, Rechargeable Batteries,
          Solar Energy, Complex Fluids for technical applications

.              Photographic Chemistry Process
Chemist, Process Safety, Scale-Up, Process Analysis

.            University Adjunct and
Professional Behaviors, Workshop & Seminar Presenter

Personal Style and Responsibilities
My chemistry career span started out with JFK’s “Let’s go to the
moon” message and it was encouraged by summer laboratory research
jobs and honors research projects before grad school.  Grad school
occurred during the Vietnam War escalation and Arab Oil Embargo gas
lines.  My early career style revolved around worker harder than
expected, experiencing many different things, and being observant for
surprises and opportunities.
.
I took in that I had to aim very high and learn from rejection.  Rejection
is not permanent.  That “No: can often mean ‘not now.’  
.
In addition, I need to learn something more  or do something special.
So, to an observer I was an assertive, analytical go-getter who worked
through all four undergraduate years on a straight and narrow path with
purposeful objectives that evolved over my career with changing
circumstances:  family, economy, business prospects, health and longevity.
.
That personal strategy operated in a time when fellowships
were a-plenty
and research was well supported.  Economic cycles, competition from
emerging technologies and war time priorities change hiring and support.
.
Being dropped by one firm opened my eyes to keeping options available
via professional society participation and developing other income streams
for unexpected events.

ADAPT IN MID CAREER

In my first 10 years I was an individual contributor.  I soon learned that
I needed to develop leadership,
communication, and technical breadth for
problem solving skills that employers
hand select for training.  Professional

societies and networking offered one alternate way of gaining skills.   
[Began initiatives for the company related to manufacturing efficiency
at university collaborative.  Developed and completed Six Sigma projects
as a black belt master.] 

ASK FOR HELP AND HELP OTHERS

Many times companies do not reward employees for
participating in
professional and technical societies.  Oh, they don’t? 
.
It was interesting that by volunteering to
support as a member-volunteer,
I learned many insider skills, met hundreds of
informative and distinguished
professionals and grew as a professional
scientist.  The more I gave, much
more
did I receive in benefits and experience.
.
The mid-career span was quite stressful with long, variable
hours, many
unexpected problems with complex causes, business challenges—take-overs,
mergers, change of managers and business objectives, and bankruptcies.
.
I started interviewing for other positions about five years
after graduate
school.  Not having the experience
and training for managing and leadership
slotted me for only entry level roles.  I perhaps stayed too long for career
advancement purposes at my applied research positions.  That
was my
background and I did not ask for specific opportunities (Maybe I should
have.).  Staying longer in organizations does provide pensions at the end of
my life span (not a lot, but of some value.  Bankrupt company yield PPGC
insured retirement.  Otherwise I made some poor investment decisions and
some productive ones.).

MID-CAREER DEVELOPMENTS
.
Rather than exploring permanent positions which many of my
contemporaries chose and were successful choosing, I pursued professional
society support, participation and leadership roles in mid-career.  I wished to
attend a conference 50 miles away
and was unable to obtain management
approval. 
I volunteered to assist workshop AV and projection in exchange
for
registration.  Soon I was offering
workshops and offered registration,
room and board compensation at meetings
around the country, as long as I
could get time off from work.
.
One experience involved a dinner with department faculty where
they
explored offering a graduate level course. 
This led to a decade of productive
activities near the end of my career.  Dozens of former attendees, students
and
consultees have reached out for various support roles to advance their
goals.

CONCLUSIONS
.
There are few things in a technical career better than

achieving your goals.  One of them is
having your goal helping others
maximize their skills.  Another is realizing we are one of a small
group
of people  with a common thread
holding us together.   We do not know

what is in store for the future.  We can
project and guess.  There are
many people
who have freely given of themselves to me that have
made all the difference.  I want to do the same for those who follow
me.
.
Second-guessing choices:  No.  I put 110% effort into each of my 
commitments and try not to have regrets.  I have a habit of creating
back-up plans in case we need to go in a different direction.
.
Suggestions:  Volunteer for different roles and responsibilities,
especially in professional societies.
.
Study successful people and learn their habits.  Read biographies.  

Learn and adopt worthwhile habits.  Continue to develop communication
skills. in various media.       

comments (0)
12/29/18
Recommended Reading. 8.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:01 am

1  Norman E. Rosenthal,
THE GIFT OF ADVERSITY:  The Unexpected
 Benefits of Life’s Difficulties, Setbacks and Imperfections.

2.  Ray Dalio  PRINCIPLES Simon and Shuster NY 2017

3.  Edward De Bono SIX THINKING HATS; Revised and
updated Little
Brown and Company Boston 1999
 

4.  Peter Post EMILY POST THE ETIQUETTE ADVANTAGE
IN BUSINESS 
PERSONAL SKILLS FOR
PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS William Morrow 2014 

HarperCollins NY

5.  Robert Sapolsky, BEHAVE:  THE BIOLOGY OF HUMANS AT OUR
BEST AND WORST
Penguin Press NY
  2017

6.  Amy Chua POLITICAL TRIBES:  GROUP INSTINCT AND THE FATE OF
NATIONS
Penguin Press, NY 2016

7.  Sherry Turkle RECLAIMING CONVERSATION:  THE POWER OF TALK
IN A DIGITAL AGE, Penguin
NY 2015

8.  Michael Breus THE POWER OF WHEN:  DISCOVER YOUR CHRONOTYPE
AND THE BEST TIME TO
EAT LUNCH, ASK FOR A RAISE, HAVE SEX, WRITE
A NOVEL AND MORE, Little Brown and
Company NY
  2016R

9.  Daniel Pink WHEN THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF PERFECT TIMING

Riverhead Books NY 2018

10.  Malcolm Nance THE
PLOT TO HACK AMERICA Skyhorse
Publishing NY 2016

11.  Steve Sashihara, THE OPTIMIZATION EDGE:  REINVENTING DECISION
MAKING TO MAXIMIZE ALL
YOUR COMPANY’S ASSETS, McGraw Hill NY 2011

12.  Peter Bruce Andrew Bruce, PRACTICAL STATISTICS FOR DATA
SCIENTIST
O’Reilley Media 2017

13.  Malcolm Nance THE PLOT TO DESTROY DEMOCRACRACY Hatchette 2017
NY

14.  Yuval Noah Harari 21 LESSONS FOR THE 21st CENTURY,
Spiegel & Grau NY 2018

15.  Carl Zimmer A PLANET OF VIRUSES 2ND EDITION
University of Chicago
Press, Chicago London 2015

16.  Steven Brill TAILSPIN: 
THE PEOPLE AND FORCES BEHIND AMERICA’S
50-YEAR FALL-  AND THOSE FIGHTING TO REVERSE IT, Alfred
Knopf NY 2018

17.  Jaron Lanier TEN
ARGUMENTS FOR DELETING YOUR SOCIAL
MEDIA ACCOUNTS

comments (0)
12/23/18
End of Year Career Management. 2018
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 4:31 pm
Thank you for reading the NESACS Blog for Career Management
and Development.  I appreciate your interest and following.  This
blog provides independent concerns, information on career paths,
directions on professional behaviors and job search trends and
recommendations.
.
This year we outline major subject areas covered:
         Professional Behaviors
         Job Search and Resumes
         Economics and Financial Entries
 Trends
.
Professional Behavior
Ghosting, Cat-fishing and BUMMER
Hacking, Cyberattacks
Chronotypes
Decision Making
Spam Messages
Absenteeism and Illness
Timing
Job Searching and Resumes, Profiles, Letters
Digital Formats
Good Companies List
Contract Work
Changing Jobs
Conversations in Digital Age
Letters, Thank yous
Digital Profile
Search Fundamentals
Mid-Career 
Economics and Financials
Takeovers and Mergers
Harari and Future AI
Business Dominance, Meacham
Finances, Index Card
Finances, Credit Score
Business Models
Trends
Viruses
Patents
Perovskites, Statistics, DNA
MCCree, AI
Go File
Peer Review
Safety with automation and AI
1 comment
12/22/18
Professional Behavior. Terms for interviews and social media recruitment
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:48 pm

Professional responsibility requires that we have some idea of
terms that are used in relation to interviewing and internet and
social media searching.

.
“Ghosting” is a term describing applicants and current employees
who are impossible to reach in our tight job market.  As most early
career professionals now find many openings, it is incumbent on 
them to communicate and provide updated reliable contact 
information to recruiters.
While the article by C. Cutter views it from the recruiters’ perspective,
many of the comments and my experience is that companies more
often “ghost” candidates after contact and do not offer availability
to candidates.
.
Catfishing - behavior in social networks using senseless rejection, 
belittling, and sadism.  It is used by network profiteers to enact
behavior modification.
.
“BUMMER” is a term coined by Jaron Lanier who discusses the
pros and cons of social networks which are implemented to 
search of positions and inquire about employees.  BUMMER is
an acronym for Behaviors of Users Modified and Made into
an Empire for Rent.
.
BUMMER represents statistical algorithms that calculate the
chances that a person will act in a particular way.    The overall
population can be affected with greater probability than can any
single person.
.
Lanier outlines the components of BUMMER           
               A – attention acquisition leading 
               B – butting into everyone’s lives
               C – cramming content down people’s throats
               D – directing people’s behaviors in the sneakiest way
               E – earning money from letting the worst assholes secretly
screw with everyone else
               F -  fake modes and faker society

Fake people are present in unknown vast numbers as  Bots,
AIs agents, fake reviewers, fake friends, fake followers, fake posters,
automated catfishers.

About Social Media
.
Social media is based on “engagement.”

When people get a flattering response in exchange for posting
something they get in the habit of posting more.  It is the first
stage of an addiction that becomes a problem both for individuals
and society.  Significant aspects of increasing engagement include
randomness, economic
motivation without responsibility, and
adaptability. 

The benefits of networks only appear when
people use the
same platform.  [Think apple iphone, messaging, facetime,
and apps.]  Once the
app starts to work you are stuck with it. 

These are called “lock-ins” and they are hard to avoid in digital networks. 

We are carrying devices suitable for mass behavior modification.

We are crammed into online environments controlled by few
centers guided by
business models that involves finding
customers ready to pay to modify someone
else’s behavior.

New companies measure whether an individual changed their
behaviors
and the feeds for each person are constantly tweak
to get behaviors to change.

comments (0)
12/03/18
Good Companies List
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:40 pm

You know, it is hard to come up with a list of firms to
consider applying to.  Sure you can go to your placement
services, whether academic, commercial or governmental,
and see who they cite.

.
You can go to fields of specialization where previous people
from your area have landed positions.
.
You can take recommendations from mentors who may have
current knowledge.
.
As we are seeing, what is important to some people is not as
important to others.  I recall when I began my search, all I
heard was that finding a good post doc was critical after 
grad school.  Then, I had a mock interview with a mentor 
who offered a unique idea of looking for energy related 
fields (now this was in the 70s, just before the time of the 
Arab oil embargo in the US).  So when I was involved with
screening interviews, I accepted all that were offered and I 
could request.  Then part of my decision process involved
determining energy companies.
.
These days business aspects are paramount.  Which firms
have good management, philosophies and practices?  The 
WSJ determined a ranking of 752 firms using Peter Drucker’s
criteria of doing the right things well.  It is well worth taking
a look at the criteria and perhaps digging into the listing to
determine where you might search.  
.
It is true that other factors besides this play a role for each 
of us and that we need to define them– company culture,
location, specific fields of interest, and so forth.
.
When I perused the list at least half of the top 50 are technology
intensive companies and there are some firms that I had not
known before.  This is valuable and should be of strong 
interest to you.
Look at a number of the companies listed and go to their 
websites.
[Even get a copy of the 12-3-18 issue of the WSJ.]
comments (0)
11/26/18
Economics of the Chemical Enterprise. 6. Take-overs, Mergers, and Activist Investor Break-ups
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:45 pm

The Chemistry Profession encourages through the
training institutions focusing attention on exclusively
the technical side of the business.  So much of what
we face in the industrial and government realms
involves ECONOMICS.

.
This blog has offered several glimpses via entries on
this different perspective.   I could not help but exclaim
“wow” when CEN covered a story about Bain and
Pfizer forming Cerevel (10-29-18, p. 14).  The same
issue reported Deerfield and UNC organizing a
curious partnership (p. 15).
.
Dow and DuPont dominated CEN 11-19-18) after
their merger and activist investor inspired breakup
of various lower performing divisions.  (pp. 11, 22ff)
.
The latest news is from United Technologies breaking
up into three separate companies.
All these activities remind me of bank buyouts,
ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans) and 
rapid turnover of company leadership and philosophy
of the 1980s.  
So, please study and become aware of the
economics 
of the industries 
chemistry leads you into. 
Your success, stability and satisfaction will require it.
comments (0)
11/11/18
Resumes. History and Future
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:52 am

Lydia Dishman wrote in Fast Company:  “The need exists for a 
summary of professional achievements, preferably verifiable
and hinting at what a person might be like to work with.”   Though
a delivery system for this information is bound to change.

.
Accompanying this future seeking view is some controversy
for first time resume writers, career changers and job-hoppers who
seek growth in low growth environments.  The overall history, 
author Dishman chronicles, includes da Vinci’s ten point ability
list in a letter to Sforza about painting the Last Supper, the French
word origin of personal summary of job skills, and changes in
sections and information to include and/or drop based on length,
format (using PCs and programs).
.
She suggests Linkedin is hastening an irrelevance.  At least nearly
nine-tenths of recruiters seek out the contents and sections of your
profile.  What is problematic is job titles, despite the advances
in keyword matching, full expedited listing of accomplishments
(often via links to documentation), and detail often not possible
in hardcopy forms.
.
With so many possible applicants, time is a premium in making
appropriate decisions without bias.
.
It is highly recommended that you create and seek out best 
practices in digital formats, which Linkedin leads.
Academic positions still do not favor the use of digital forms,
however.

comments (0)
10/30/18
Contract Work. Full time, Part time and Contract. Ownership of ideas
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:30 am

Al Sklover provided an interesting observation on the ownership of
ideas produced by employees.

.
As many of us gain employment first as a temporary employee and 
if conditions merit full time status is granted.  It is important to
learn the legal implications of contributions to work output.
.
Sklover points out
1.  work product made during the period of employment and related
to the job, can be claimed as “owned” by employer.
2.  work product, created before the period and used in the period
can also be claimed as “owned” by the employer.
3.  work product you created off the job, not in the work period of
documented hours of work, can be “owned” by the employer.
4.  work product resulting from sharing of your personal expertise
with other employees, can be “owned” by the employer.
.
Employers quite often insist that offer letters and contracts be signed
granting all rights of ownership to the employer.
Sklover has suggested in his entry that there are steps we can take to
protect creative efforts from being consider work for hire.
.
There are assignment and ethical responsibility implications especially
for contract workers.  This is a positive resource worth reading.

comments (0)
10/16/18
Virus World. Interdisciplinary short course
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:50 pm

Carl Zimmer has written two very meaningful books recently.
One is on the world of viruses.  It creates a meaningful picture
for the world of viruses and their interaction with humans. 

.
Virus, as a term, initially meant venom from a snake or the semen
from a man.  Its meaning evolved over time to mean a contagious 
substance that could spread disease and initially used a tobacco
disease, tobacco mosaic virus. 
.
Bijerinck used virus to describe an agent in the fluid which was 
composed of 95% protein and 5% nucleic acid, a protein shell holding 
a few genes.
.
Carl Zimmer outlines eight classes of viruses and how they originated
and infect humans.  So many of these virus types are treated via 
chemical means.  Classes included-
1. rhinovirus (meaning ‘nose’ virus) spread by hands, doorknobs
2. influenza  (from the Italian)  droplets in air released from coughs,
sneezes, and runny noses
3. human papilloma virus HPV Papilloma virus require some physical
contact
4. ocean viruses -  many types in water systems, are still being  discovered
  Cholera is caused by blooms of waterborne bacteria 
which are hosts to a number of phages, that are viruses.
5. Retroviruses insert their genetic material into hosts DNA.
  HIV is spread by contact with body fluids 
6. West Nile Virus is spread by mosquito.
7. Ebola - spread by body fluids
8.  Large virus organisms and bacteriophages

comments (0)
09/05/18
Legal Issues. Leahy-Smith Invents Act and and Contract Provisions
Filed under: Recent Posts, First Year on Job, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:18 am

 One of the areas technical professionals can use tutorials is in legal
matters.  Al Sklover does this with his outstanding blog and advice
column and ECS Interface has been offering a Patent tutorial by
Maria Inman and Jennings Taylor.  

.
Sklover points out three pertinent items in contract law…
-  Importance of Section Titles- read carefully the title and section
content and confirm they express the same thing
-  Entire Agreement- Sometimes other and previous agreements may
apply.  It is important to seek out the precise wording and specific
wording.
-  Importance of SIGNING AGREEMENTS
.
Taylor and Inman nicely document 
-  First to file in patent law changes
-  Significant detail on “Prior Art” for patents 
-  Nature of Prior disclosures in collaborations influencing patent claims.
comments (0)
06/30/18
Economics of the chemical enterprise. 5. Moat Nation of Steven Brill
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:08 am

Steven Brill outlines the changes that have occurred
triggering the financialization of the chemical enterprise
that we have highlighted through the work of Rana Faroohar 

.
Brill points out that business today has taken on a new meritocracy
with a “get rich quick” philosophy that works through cut-throat
tactics  and the flooding of political influence money that no 
longer prioritizes the common good, but “win at any cost” for
the privileged few.
.
The resulting model finds successful businesses protected by
“moats” that shield off predators.  Moats he describes as good
product lines, great reputations, predominant market share and 
sterling management who hire the best of the best teams that
savvy investors will seek out. 
.
More and more we see AI and robotics impinge on human
roles.  So in addition to seeking cognifying roles in our careers, 
consider what John Meacham has urged
  - do practical work in the political sphere employing your highest
principles
   - respect and insist on true facts and deploy reason (avoid 
dictators who lie frequently assuming that repetition will lead to
concurrence)
   - keep history in mind.
.
Just doing chemistry is not enough for professionals.


1 comment
06/25/18
Trends in Technical Careers. Tandem solar Cells, Multi-stranded DNA, and Significant Digits in Statistics
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:57 pm

Three informative items came across my desk that I wish to
share.  These are either benchmarks of progress or inflection
points for the next technology generation.

.
The first is about using statistics to provide an interpretation 
of the uncertainty of a measurement.  It may have larger 
impact on small statistical samples.  This article might have been
useful for me in reporting results of one aspect from my
doctoral thesis (structure-activity relationship).
.
Most of us who have some familiarity with DNA know it as
a double-stranded helical structure revealing the chemical 
basis of biological differences.  It is interesting to read the 
speculation of Claude Gagna in “Reactions” 6-4-18 about
non-canonical nucleic acid structures and their biological
functions.
.
Finally, I was pleased to see discussion on tandem solar
cells with perovskites which may pave the way for
higher efficiencies that will get me interested in placing
solar panels on my northern city home.
.
STATISTICS:  SIGNIFICANT DIGITS
SOURCE:  S. Deming, Amer. Lab. 6-2018, p. 30

Statistics in the Laboratory:  Significant Digits and the
 Granularity of Data.”
Readers of this blog will recognize my fascination with
Deming’s short reports on statistics.  Here he helps us see 
our way to understand how some data with small sample
size can be interpreted and some questions you can ask
yourself.
.
MOTIFS IN DNA STRUCTURES POSSIBLE MOLECULAR
BIOLOGY IMPACT
SOURCE:  C Gagna, CEN Reactions CEN6-4-18, p. 3
Original citation Stu Borman .
I liked the way this was handled and reemphasized.
An original commentary on a new chemical finding was
remarked in Reactions section not long afterwards.
This line of thinking has broad implications as well.
There should be a practice in journal publication that
does this sort of follow-up to bring strong ideas up
and share them with the chemical community.  I emphasize
this for grad students and post-docs to build ideas of this
nature in your research notebooks.  It is a solid foundation
for your professional careers.
.
PEROVSKITE SOLAR CELLS IN FUTURE TANDEM 
SOLAR CELLS
SOURCE:  M . Peplow, CEN 6-11-18, p. 16
It has been talked about for decades that tandem cells 
absorbing more of the solar spectrum could yield higher
efficiencies.  The development of unique structure 
solar cells, like perovskites, should push efficiencies 
up closer to the 30s and make panels more realistic
if they can have long functional life and limited 
efficiency fading over time.
.
I will be watching this development.
   
1 comment
06/02/18
Trends in Technical Careers. Intersections with Other Fields
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:43 am

Interesting observations in several fields that touch
on scientific realm are offered in this post.

.
Controlled Environment Agriculture.  Leading to
beneficial nutrition, yield and pharmaceutical 
value.  Tessa Pocock wrote about the photosynthetic
efficiency of different low intensity wavelengths
on plant growth, the McCree Curve.  This is a
possible application for solid state lighting and 
specific crop production.
.
CRISPR Patent Rulings.  Two sources talking
about the continuing saga of patent protection
filings from UC Berkeley and Broad Institute
are teachable moments for technology development.
The Scoop offers that the result could impact
future funding.
The Courthouse and expedited application process
is discussed in detail in a Jacob Sherkow interview.
.
AI in Science.  While the first of two articles 
addresses applications in life sciences, there are
ramifications in all fields.
AI- diagnosis and disease probability
AI- personalized medicine (skin cancer, smoking
      cessation)
AI- drug discovery using unsupervised learning
       algorithms of pattern recognition
AI- predictive analytics in clinical trials to reduce time
       and cost
AI- interpretation of scans using smart algorithms to
       assist
AI- seamless communication of health records
.
The second article by Stephen Boppart argues with
more detail about “optical biopsies” in the near
future as part of AI in diagnosis.
comments (0)
05/23/18
Mailbag Question. Five considerations about changing jobs
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:35 am
From–CJ’s mailbag from 5-21-18 CEN, p. 27
.
Question/Answer:  Is it better to jump from one company to
another or stick with a company long term?
.
While the question is an appropriate one, his short
answer was not satisfying.  (It was: no one knows!)  
.
Where I come out on this question:  There are five features
that will help you answer the question for yourself.  
1.CULTURE AND GOALS.  
.CJ offers the big company, small organization 
argument saying larger firms desire loyalty. 
My view suggests that you might assess whether you are 
comfortable in the company culture of how things work and 
what your title, responsibility and security-opportunity-
influence triad 
balance is.

2.YOUR BOSS AND MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE AND POLICIES
. Do you like and communicate well with your boss and 
your support staff?  Is there trust and honesty.  Are the policies 
flexibly meeting your needs for the present and the future?  Look 
out for more than the present.
  Can you ask hard questions and 
get honest answers?  

3.YOUR FAMILY SITUATION AND NEAR TERM GOALS
 We work  to satisfy our particular families’ needs, first.
Are hours of work, travel, stress level such that it allows your
personal needs and wants to be met?  outside of work life.
.
4.YOUR LONG TERM HORIZON
  We all must stop being an employee at some point.  Do
you want it to be your choice or business conditions or an
arbitrary “committee beauty contest” selection?  When you 
leave will it be fair and open, on good terms?  Can you
have the benefits your family needs and are they protected?
.
5.YOUR CURRENT POSITION AND ASSIGNMENT AND
  WHERE IT LEADS YOU AND ALLOWS YOU TO LEARN
 Are you challenged and learning important things every day?
Do you feel positive about what  your goals are and look forward
to each day’s challenges?
.
Telling the truth, for myself, and for those for whom I
have mentored, have a mentor team that will help you 
pose questions and look at the big picture for you.
I could not have gotten to where I am now without the
outstanding help of mentors.  Two qualities that I felt
they provided were persistence and outside of the box
thinking.
.
You should always have radar ‘on,’ to learn about your 
field.  You should always have an early warning system
telling you the good and bad (remember: management usually
holds back on delivering bad news and too often uses
rose colored glasses and a ‘bow on top.’)
1 comment
05/09/18
Watch-Outs. 108. Working in Consulting, Important new areas
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:20 am

Three things have come to my attention.  One was a recent
graduate’s interest in a consulting firm position.  So we
have been in discussion about how she might prepare for
developing her cover letter, resume and other documents.

.
A second item relates to an important technical area that 
Bill Gates has indicated demands more attention– preparing
for pandemics.
 . 
Finally, an interesting letter to the editor in CEN by 
Professor Adam Heller talks about mitigation work
needed to deal with the growing global warming threat
we all face.  I note this because Adam has always been
at the forefront of where technology needs are…lithium
batteries, lasers, biomedical devices and more.
.
CONSULTING
The initial volley involved getting information on the company,
seeing the job description and related information from
insiders and Glassdoor.com.  As is found from many of
this class of employers, the job description offers generic
“musts.”…
  - desire blending information technology and management
consulting
  - recently graduated from top institution with credentials
  - skilled and experience with using software and developing
learning tools in C++, Java, C# and other platforms
  - demonstrates outstanding communication skills in all phases
.
So this provides some hints about important things to include
in application documents.  But we do need to go further.  Using
Linkedin, and the firm’s website we can learn more about 
the kinds of project areas and notable citations.  One citation
came up about a highly touted recent book on consulting that
the CEO wrote.  Probably would be good to pick up.
.
Then, consider making use of your network to glean other
useful information and tactics to allow you to stand out, like.
the name of the recruiter to send things to.
.
PREPARE FOR NEXT PANDEMIC
In a recent ScienceAlert post Bill Gates talked about an
area of high need.  Gates told of a simulated disease
spread model of a flu borne pathogen.  It would create
devastating consequences that we are not prepared for.
.
Strategies and organizations need to be formed to
identify the mode and source and rapidly develop
mobile operations to isolate, treat and inoculate larger
populations.  This is long range thinking well beyond
the fiscal and election cycles that should be of interest
to technical professionals interested in being part of 
something larger than themselves and making a difference.
.
GEOENGINEERING
In a Letter to the Editor of C&EN on April 30, 
A. Heller wrote of the high need to report in their
pages the critical need for scientific research to 
develop and test strategies to global warming
catastrophes the earth faces.
.
Where C&EN fills its pages with alternate energy
and conservation, these are “tip of the iceberg”
solutions.  Trends point to global wealth and the resulting
use of resources without sustainable management as
the dominating input for continued earth warming 
in addition to a series of unintended consequences of
loss of ice caps, changing climate patterns and severe
natural events in tropical areas.
.
Work on Geochemical approaches is needed and 
has to be reported in C&EN and to the wider 
community, like the I
nstitute for Advanced Sustainability
Studies.
1 comment
04/27/18
Financial Dealings and Documents.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:08 pm

While surfing to learn about a former employer and
possible future changes in its pension arrangement,
I came upon a practical wbesite that I wish to share
with you on financial matters.

.
A nice overview is offered in the overview page of 
BFG.  Interesting discussions are provided on:
.
  Credit Scores
  Critical document you should have and their purposes
  Estate Strategies you should consider
1 comment
04/18/18
Chemical Enterprise Business Models. Considerations for Jobs
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:14 pm

Rarely, if ever, do Chemistry graduates ever receive formal
or informal introductions in chemical enterprise business models.

.
We think it is of critical importance as it shows is how individuals
and corporations learn and how its core values.(business purpose,
core culture, operational processes and policies) are demonstrated.
.
So many of the BS, MS and PhD / post-grads do not find a 
match to what they believe are their skills and interests.  They
might initially desire to emulate their advisers, but opportunities 
are often limited.  So, they look for start-ups and entrepreneurial 
opportunities.
.
Mike Kubzansky of Brookings provides a comprehensive view of
business models.  Heintz et al show how business models can be 
different in different cultures.  This is an important consideration
for it affects decision making from many angles.
Deloitte has predicted that chemical enterprises will benefit from
digitalization but as a whole are slow to incorporate them.  This 
is an area to embrace or at least consider when assessing the job
market.
.
Sangeet Choudary pictures families of business models.
-  flow from raw materials to finished products with customer
service to offer value to customers
-  exchange driven platform where groups of consumers and
producers aim to maximize value 
.
So two examples to make things concrete for readers.  Think
about the way we consume news.  Newspapers in the 20th 
century were from larger news organizations, printed at
central locations, hand delivered  and read cover to cover.
Mass distribution of video and radio complemented printed
media.  Now, we consume news mostly online via internet
and cable 24-7 and there is so much that news is continually
updated and corrected.  Because of this nature and the various
media formats and sources how businesses make a profit has
moved from coupons and ads to clicks and eye balls.
.
Photography is a second model that reveals the revolutions
from print format to virtual world which can be re-constituted.
Then there are many other factors like portable power, 
miniaturization and software versions and security.

comments (0)
04/12/18
Critical Thinking on Testing Result Statistics. Questions to ask
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:23 pm

As we use artificial intelligence more and more and depend
on machines for decision making, critical thinking becomes
more important.  In particular topics like false positive results
and limits of detection.  This was brought up earlier in a
highlight.

.
False positive concept is more involved and can be 
misused when we apply statistics to test results.   It indicates
that a given condition exists when in reality it does not.
This conclusion can many times result in unnecessary
testing and costs (both to clinical patients (anguish) and
monetarily).
.
The previous entry pointed out limits of detection series
by Deming.  Two other notable contributions– one on being able
to compare quantities resulting from different methods (
Mandel Sensitivity) and the second from establishing the
requirements of changing from one to another method.
.
My experience is where a physician recommends a 
prescription for a chronic condition based on analyte
readings.  The algorithm is designed to predict a per cent
likelihood of an outcome.  However, the clinical testing
is much more complicated with false positives entering
the picture.  Not all of the people have have a minimmum
value will reach that specific outcome.  This is not
revealed in the analyte results.
.
This leads to needing to ask more questions of the 
results and their “true meaning.”  Often the physician
will not assess these critical elements leading to over-testing
and over prescribing.
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