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.
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
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.
It is the middle of the ACS meeting.
I have attended more than a dozen Zoom presentations. Yet I need to
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
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.
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, …
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]
NOT REAL Career Management Alert
Received an email recently that you might delete as
not in your best interests…
Hope this mail finds you in the best of your health.I am Mirha Shah, an independent academic
consultant. I provide assistance to higher-education
level students in the articulation of their dissertations
and thesis. I connect them with the published
scholars of their fields.These scholars help you out in:
- Finding a suitable research topic,
- Deciding on the appropriate methodology,
- Gathering, analyzing, and presenting the data,
- Drafting the manuscript as per standard referencing styles, and
- Will remain with you, till you defend your study, in front of I.R.B.
This is the second recent scam this blog alerts you to
be aware that it seems to be spreading at this uncertain and
potentially devastating time in our careers…
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?
Let me start by wishing all readers good health and
patience in the human struggle with the coronavirus
pandemic. We wish it were not in our environment.
Now that it is we need to work together to survive
We each have struggles each day. Face them and
overcome them. We are scientists and technologists,
all. Let me tell you what I faced this morning with
my laptop, quarantined at home like many others. I
was perusing the news and mail and regularly visited
websites this morning when I noticed my lithium ion
battery was getting low state of charge signals. I had
the charger cord plugged in. What was going on?
This battery was replaced two months ago with an unused
one online, not from Dell (They only sold “refurbished”
batteries for this laptop.); it was installed guided by a
you-tube ‘how-to’ video and has been working nicely.
What to do? Go on line and see what others have
faced and done, right! Accordingly, I opened the
computer up to wipe the electrodes clean. While it
was sitting on my lap, I look down and the power cord light
was not lit. the plug had loosed from the socket and was
the root cause.
Lesson: Look for root causes of problems before you go
Electrochemistry in Space
The latest issue in “Interface
” brings us incredibly
thought-provoking articles that should move you to
take several looks.
The first uses the technology of ‘regenerative fuel cells
to explain the details of and action items included in
NASA patent of the utility patent US 7,410,714,
K. A, Burke.
[For all interested in a terrific series of technology
patenting please see
Cordeiro and colleagues show photos and descriptions
of a variety of sensor systems
Bugga and Brandon nicely review the history of
that find their way into the decades
of space programs and pointing out the need for
“beyond lithium” technologies
This is strongly recommended reading for people
interested in the science as well as future career
Trend that I noticed is not including an objective.
I prefer seeing Qualifications which aim specifically at
the job description musts and wants. The article suggests
For access to all of 2019 entries with links to the pages please review
the following listing.
Hot Buttons. Trade secrets 9-11
Hot Buttons. Cell phone hacking 8-21
Hot Buttons. Subscription
Hot Buttons. Where do
you get reliable data,
information and conclusions 7-29
Hot Buttons. Stress
in Grad School, Post-doc, and career
Hot Buttons. Women in
Scientific Leadership Roles 7-11
Hot Buttons. Online
Hot Buttons. Motivation underpinnings, Financialization
and Laws 6-3
References following Job Interviews 9-7
Provisional and Utility patent applications
and C-I-P 7-25
Watch-Outs 110. H3+,
High Pressure Elements, Retractions 6-14
Scientific Writing Editing Review
Job Loss, Job Search and Retirement. 5-20
Tax Law Change.
Relocation and :Grosss Up”
Habits. Top Four that
enhance your self esteem 4-17
Best Jobs and Predictions 4-14
Update on Financial Record-keeping 4-12
Professional Profile 7.
4-5 Technology Specialist,
Technology Patent LLC
Professional Profile 6.
2-23 Senior Supervisor
Professional Profile 5.
2-11 Policy and Advocacy Fellow
Society for Neuroscience
Professional Profile 4.
1-21 Pharmaceutical Process
Professional Profile 3.
1-20 Field Application Scientist
Professional Profile 2.
1-19 Medical Science Liaison
Professional Profile 1.
1-15 QUESTIONS. Applied energy
research, Photographic production and process research, Adjunct
New Requirements 3-27
Plan S. OPEN ACCESS
Suggestions from Clint Watts 3-16
End of Year Career Management 2018 12-23
One of critical pieces of data you must have ready in an interview
is a list of at least three references.
Along with this, please know it is critical to have asked those
individuals whether they are available to provide good references
for you. To help them do their job, it is so critical to provide
a current CV or resume and with whom you have or will be
Recommendation references can be requested via mail and email,
and also via email in a phone call where there is an actual
conversation between an interviewer and your reference.
I have known HC for nearly ten years where we have worked on
her career path search process. Her goal from the beginning has
been to work in a government research lab or federal department
as a scientist/ chemist. After her Ph.D. she gained a post doc position
in a field related to pharmaceutical sciences. A four year R&D role
and academic positions followed. In each, she has come up to speed
quickly and made creditable contribution.
Earlier this year, I strongly recommended her for the academic
role. To prepare me for this we had a telecon to help me develop
an understanding of her motivation and qualifications. The process
followed where I wrote a supporting letter to the search committee.
Since I have not been a supervisor or co-worker, I perform as
a professional personal reference and provide a brief summary
of my background as a manager and interviewer and teaching
professional skills as a consultant and adjunct for many.
Ideal references need to provide your assets and specific examples.
So, it is important that you know he or she will be able to do
this. Rank of the individual is less significant than their ability
and experience supporting your candidacy.
If your reference is asked to conduct a phone reference
conversation, it may be a sign that your quite highly considered
for the opening and the conversation will “close the deal”. So
it was for HC, there was a strong positive reaction to the interview
process. Yet one of the other three references failed to respond.
This could be a situation where you are asked to provide three
references and where you add a fourth, just in case.
References for professional positions, you should:
- Have a list of four four professionals–name, title, affiliation,
address, phone (confirm the right one for interviewers to use), email.
(Senior level positions could require 5 to 7.)
- Obtain permission and availability to provide a good reference
- Keep your references aware of your progress.
- Send current resume, CV, cover letter and related documents to
- Thank your references, letting them know you appreciate their efforts.
- When leaving a position, thank your supervisor in that role for their
role with respect to you.
- Consider greeting references with a holiday card in a personal, more
than casual way.
- Understand providing a reference requires thought, time and know-how.
Find ways of professionally recognizing them for doing more.
This entry starts a new dialogue called “hot buttons.”
This first button is “Motivation”. I found it curious what
” articulated on this topic, that for:
newbies (1-2 years) - “new skills or new knowledge and self
pride in accomplishing a task”
individual contributors (3-7 yrs) - “frequent communication
with higher ups” and value in work life balance [whatever that
evolving concept means]
mid-career (8-15 yrs) - “contribute to their organization’s
overall mission, goals”
sages (>16 yrs) - being able to and in a position to ‘get
It seems that business schools have influenced “motivation” asKellogg’s School
program attests. Their program offers finding
two or three personal drivers from five — 1- accomplishing meaningful
goals, 2-being part of a collaboration, 3-gaining status, 4-directing and
controlling your activities, and 5-being part of a larger effort.
This blog recognizes these academic elements. There are
two subsurface realities in our capitalistic system that need
to be realized. Reality 1
: money-profit- and advantage
dominates the economy
of the chemical enterprise. It is a big business.
[Think of bankruptcies, mergers, patent infringements, and
societies projects a ‘larger than life’ influence on results that
happen. [Mores in societies evolves over time…think of race
and gender equity.]
Few of my mentors shared this with me early in my career.
Say, you have strong technical writing skills in English.
Say, you have time (more than 4 hours a day) and credentials
that clearly show proven skills in improving technical
Well, there is a need, that some societies promote, is available
It is an interesting avocation for some, but I am not advocating
it. As I contacted an excellent technical writer to seek her
“take” on this proposal. As an article by Joanne Chen
while many people look at on-site reviews for determining
a purchase decision, objective assessment from a trusted
colleague will do better for you.
of her noteworthy comments. The remuneration is sub-standard,
sometimes it is not equitable and not timely, the feedback on
performance can seem arbitrary, without recourse.. Other,
She wisely points out that payment in advance and individual
contracts with stated expectations can avoid many troubles.
Al Sklover shared one of the impacts of the 2018 tax law
change that allowed the mega wealthy a tax cut is to tax
as income any relocation reimbursement by employers.
The article recommends that new or relocated employees
ask for “grossing up” that is having extra sum of compensation
to pay for the taxes due.
Many times authors write about and speak about habits that
will help you be successful. As we come to appreciate,
winning and “success” are fleeting until the next event in a
I enjoy much of what David Brooks
writes in his NYT
editorials. One of the latest is about 2 mountains we face
in our lives–
“If the first mountain is about building up the ego and
defining the self, the second is about shedding the ego and
dissolving the self. If the first mountain is about acquisition,
the second mountain is about contribution.
On the first mountain, personal freedom is celebrated
keeping your options open, absence of restraint. But the
perfectly free life is the unattached and unremembered life.
Freedom is not an ocean you want to swim in; it it a river
you want to cross so that you can
plant yourself on the other
So the person on the second mountain is making
commitments. People who have made a commitment to a
town, a person, an institution or a cause have cast their lot
and burned the bridges behind them. They have made a
promise without expecting
a return. They are all in.
I can now usually recognize first and second mountain people.
The former have an
ultimate allegiance to self; the latter have
an ultimate allegiance to some
Supporting this are habits that build self-confidence and
lead to commitment. [taken from ]
1. delay celebration and develop a ‘reserve capacity’ to persist
2. make choices and have the mental agility to have a back-up
if first choice does not work
3. organize details, set priorities and understand root causes
4. be kind even in the face of rudeness, bitterness and