From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

April 2021
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Book: Adam Grant: Think Again
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:10 pm

Thoughtful reading in a time of uncertainty is Adam Grant’s
“Think Again”. 

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
and error
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
  +respect pushback
   +accept conflict, reframe as debate, rather than disagreement.

Written to teach us something.

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TIP: Evaluating Science Stories- Fake or Supported with Data
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:05 am

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as in MedRXiv and BioRXiv and ChemRXiv are not peer
reviewed, yet.
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.
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Thoughts on Attending ACS National Meeting
Filed under: Recent Posts
Posted by: site admin @ 4:30 pm

This was my second virtual ACS meeting and I
feel it far exceeded all my expectations.  It might be
worthwhile to reflect and share some things.

It goes along with Scott Galloway’s recent book, “Post Corona:
From Crisis to ‘Opportunity
” where he points out that much
will be dramatically different in our future and we should
prepare for it.
To begin, I have attended more than 75 society national 
meetings mostly in the US and many held by ACS.  There
are different objectives in attending technical society 
This latest meeting had me focus on using the 
ACS be the highway for learning…. about
      COVID mutations, therapies and vaccines,
      global climate modeling,
      micro-plastic waste reuse,
      mRNA and SIGLECs,
      data management for wider discipline use, and
      education in the post-Corona age.
My strategy for participation involved
 - serious review of the agenda (for nearly a week) to form
 a meeting outline before the meeting,
 - determine the best way to interact with speakers
 (early in the meeting:  plan to capture email addresses to
 contact speakers shortly after the meeting),
 - access supporting publications and follow up (COVID
 was the most intensive, as the Moderna mRNA and
Michigan State study of mutations and antibody
therapies were revealing)
Positive surprises were reported, as well, including
 -  critical challenges of water purification near semiconductor
processing facilities
 -  stories about chemistry before chemists (R. Hoffman)
 -  chemical education approaches:  CCI, use of movies,
FAIR standards data management and ethics
 - miniaturization of biological structures 
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How to deal with Job Offer
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:56 am

It is the middle of the ACS meeting.

I have attended more than a dozen Zoom presentations.  Yet I need to
share the following “bright note” that struck me:
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
generous offer.
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
minimum mark
- 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.

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