Friday, January 19, 2018

View from Your Hood: a view of the hood

Credit: L.C. Campeau
Via Twitter, from friend of the blog L.C. Campeau: "My fumehood as I left it in October 2013..."

(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at; will run every other Friday.)

Hospitals are going to try to start generic drug companies?

From the New York Times, some interesting news:
For years, hospital executives have expressed frustration when essential drugs like heart medicines have become scarce, or when prices have skyrocketed because investors manipulated the market. 
Now, some of the country’s largest hospital systems are taking an aggressive step to combat the problem: They plan to go into the drug business themselves, in a move that appears to be the first on this scale. 
“This is a shot across the bow of the bad guys,” said Dr. Marc Harrison, the chief executive of Intermountain Healthcare, the nonprofit Salt Lake City hospital group that is spearheading the effort. “We are not going to lay down. We are going to go ahead and try and fix it.” 
....Several major hospital systems, including Ascension, a Catholic system that is the nation’s largest nonprofit hospital group, plan to form a new nonprofit company, that will provide a number of generic drugs to the hospitals. The Department of Veterans Affairs is also expressing interest in participating....
Does anyone else think this is an absurd plan? It doesn't sound like they really want to be in the generic API business, so they will probably be buying generic APIs and making solid dosage formulations on their own. Will this save them any money? How will this company actually respond well to a shortage? If Whateverprim has a shortage of suppliers, won't the API go up in price? (I guess that the idea is that the spike in price will not be manipulated by speculators?)

As someone who works in chemical manufacturing, I found this final quote in the article to be quite amusing:
She added that the trick will be in selecting the right third-party manufacturer to ensure good quality.
Isn't it always? (Why will the third-party manufacturer decide that they want to cut these folks a break? (I guess the answer is 'guaranteed volume.' (Isn't it always?))

Readers, am I wrong here? Am I missing something? I must be. 

Do you want to be (semi) famous?

We are hoping to start a "CJ's mailbag" for my column at Chemical and Engineering News. Please feel free to write me ( if you have a career-oriented dilemma that you'd like me to write about in the magazine. 

Submit your questions to me by e-mail: or use this handy web form. Thanks!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 118 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list has 118 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 88 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 88 positions.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Choose the right one!

(context here)

Great post by th'Gaussling

Mettler-Toledo couldn't possibly get a better recommendation for its reaction calorimeters than this post by th' Gaussling: 
There’s a good argument for a chemist to conduct RC experiments as well. A trained synthesis chemist is qualified to conduct chemical reactions within their organization. That includes sourcing raw materials, handling them, running the reaction, and safely cleaning up the equipment afterwards. But interpreting RC1 data has a large physical chemistry component. In my experience, run of the mill inorganic/organic synthesis people may have seen PChem as an obstacle rather than a focus in their college education. Their skill set is in instrumental analysis like NMR and chromatography, mechanisms, and reaction chemistry. I would recommend having a PhD chemist with a focus on thermo in a leadership role when calorimetry is a key part of a busy process safety environment. 
Safety data can be collected and archived all day long. The crucial and often tricky part is how to develop best practices from the data. I would offer that this is inherently a cross-disciplinary problem. Calorimetric data from reaction chemistry can be collected readily, especially with the diverse and excellent instrumentation available today. Adiabatic temperature rise, ΔTad, can be determined by a chemist, but it’s the engineers who understand how the equipment may respond to a given heat release. A smooth and efficient technology transfer from lab to plant happens when good communication skills are used. Yes, SOP’s must be in place for consistency and safety. But the positive effect of individuals who have good social skills and are prone to volunteering information cannot be underestimated.
Good stuff, with lots of relevant details around purchasing and setting one up.  

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 489 positions

The 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 489 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

On January 15, 2017, the 2017 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 540 positions.

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Try the open thread.

Want to talk starting your new group? That open discussion is here.

Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 24 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 24 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Unemployment rate and weekly wage by education level

Credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics
It's an apples-to-oranges comparison, but it's worth noting that the 2016 ACS member unemployment rate was 2.6%. Median weekly pay was $1881, so that compares well, which is nice to hear.  

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles from this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Pick rollers

A list of small, useful things (links):
Again, an open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring you millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

Have a good weekend!

What do you want to talk about this year?

Over at the academic science blog xykademiqz, they are doing "Blog Delurking Week." I think that's a great idea, so I am copying that.

If you are a reader but not a commenter, please take a little time and tell us a little about yourself. Also, this would be a good place to request posts or changes to the site. Happy 2018! 

Any news on the pay front?

Credit: Newsmax
A little birdie has mentioned to me that they are seeing news of happy trends in pay raises recently - has anyone else seen an out-of-trend bump in pay?

Here's hoping it's true! 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 115 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list has 115 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

20 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 11 new positions posted for January 7 and 9 new positions for January 5.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 82 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 82 positions.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread.