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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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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.
   
comments (0)
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)
Financial Dealings and Documents. 2. Index Card
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:59 am

Harold Pollack shared a meaningful list that fits on an
Index Card of hints to deal with transitions.  Nine items
are:

.
 - Live within your means, restraining impulses that
can get the best of you where your belongings can
take over.
 - Within one year, spend no more than 14% of 
your resources.
 - Set up accounts to deal with requests and bequests
where you limit budget items.
 - Control debt lines of credit where you avoid
high interest financial burdens.  Determine strategies
to eliminate existing ones.  Help others achieve the
same.
 - Stick to your core expertise.  Consult with a 
professional about personal investments.  Beware 
of IT recommendations without the full picture.
 - Manage investment choices using low fee vehicles, 
shield investments from taxes and other obligations.
 - Interview and choose committed financial adviser,
attorney and insurance provider, so you are proactive,
thoughtful and within the law.
 - Bring in experts to financial decisions.
 - Give generously to reputable causes that meet your
purposes, knowing that you are responsible to 
establish credibility.
.
Many of these suggestions seem fit for approaching
retirement.  Yet, it is not too early to have these in
mind much earlier in your career and have them
carry over as good habits.
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