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
- respect and insist on true facts and deploy reason (avoid
dictators who lie frequently assuming that repetition will lead to
- keep history in mind.
Just doing chemistry is not enough for professionals.
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
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
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
MOTIFS IN DNA STRUCTURES POSSIBLE MOLECULAR
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
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.
Interesting observations in several fields that touch
on scientific realm are offered in this post.
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.
offers that the result could impact
The Courthouse and expedited application process
AI in Science. While the first of two articles
ramifications in all fields.
AI- diagnosis and disease probability
AI- personalized medicine (skin cancer, smoking
AI- drug discovery using unsupervised learning
algorithms of pattern recognition
AI- predictive analytics in clinical trials to reduce time
AI- interpretation of scans using smart algorithms to
AI- seamless communication of health records
more detail about “optical biopsies” in the near
future as part of AI in diagnosis.
Harold Pollack shared a meaningful list that fits on an
Index Card of hints to deal with transitions. Nine items
- Live within your means, restraining impulses that
can get the best of you where your belongings can
- Within one year, spend no more than 14% of
- 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
- 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
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.