Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chem Coach Carnival, Day Four

Throughout this carnival, I love hearing stories about folks finally giving in to that urge to blog. For some of our entrants, this was their very first post! (Honored, really). For others, today's post serves as a milestone of ups-and-downs in the sci-comm universe. Today we have executives, grad students, directors, 'instrumenticians,' and metallurgists. Read away...

33. SoS, UK-based graduate student. In this context, "SoS" means Sounds of Science, not (luckily) "save our ship." SoS specializes in organic materials, one of those coolio new "green" technologies I'm sure we'll hear more about soon. SoS had a close encounter with the always-tricksy DIBAL, which resulted in a decent-sized fireball and full building evacuation.

34. Chemerson, Analytical Chemist, Research Institute. Chemerson blogs at The Collision Cell. Instrumenticians, represent! He actually gets into the nitty-gritty of analyzing designer drugs and tobacco. To tease out components, Chemerson has a buyer's choice of fun instruments to play with. Ask him about the time he tried to analyze a 'Lazy Cake' by mass spec.

35. Susan, Executive Director, CSU Biotech Program. Susan blogs at CSUPERB. Susan was kind enough to prod some other scientists into answering the #ChemCoach call (Grazie!). She spends her days serving as the "glue" for a disparate group of folks - scientists, VCs, academics, etc - who wish to go into business together. Susan spent some time in a "white-knuckle" pilot plant, and knows what cryofills and GCs are - still a chemist in my book!

36. David, Director of Sci Comm, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. David, another blog stalwart, scribes at Terra Sigillata and now a high-profile gig at Forbes' Take As Directed. From professorship to writing to sci-comm, DK's done it all, and this post's no exception. From a great hook inspired by another "David" (Byrne), he wends through his career with a philosophical eye, stopping to turn down two tenured faculty positions, run a department, jump into blogging and outreach, and just generally serve as a positive force for public chemistry awareness. David closes out with a "Sunscreen List" of advice for chemistry n00bs out there.

37. Mags, Chemist / Metallurgist / writer. Mags blogs at Philosophically Disturbed. Her entry ushers in turns of phrase like "cranial stretches," "work in uncertainty," and "patchwork quilt career" (all sound familiar). Mags points out that passion should be the underlying factor in everything you choose to do. This may be the first time I've ever heard chemistry compared to Paris Fashion Week...

38. Chris, Senior Director, TB Alliance. Chris comes to us through intrepid reporter Lisa Jarvis (thanks, LJ!), and posted his entry at The Haystack. He's been all over the pharma landscape, from Ciba-Geigy to Pfizer to BMS, and now directs a global initiative to research new treatments for tuberculosis. The existing 'standard of care' cocktail combo just turned fifty, so it's time for some fresh blood! Chris reminds us to constantly tend and care for our extended professional network; he encountered an old colleague by complete chance on the cobblestoned streets of France, 25 years later.

39. Matt, Asst. Prof, American University. Matt hosted the last carnival (Toxic!), and blogs primarily at ScienceGeist. Matt reminds readers that, when applying for professorships, "...faculty can't read, but they sure can count." He's busily building an academic group, lecturing, and serving on recruitment committees, so he probably has an inside scoop. Why is his nickname "Smokey," anyway?

40. John, Physicist, Engineer, Rheologist, and "polymer guy." John blogs at It's the Rheo Thing. Another blog champion, he provides we Organickers with perspective on how material and bulk properties change based on groups hanging off main polymer chains. John's a "Big C" Chemical engineer, not "Big E" like many others in his field. His work in contract R&D ensures he never sees the same day twice (quite a common theme, eh?). Spoiler: "How many Ph.D.'s does it take to lock themselves in the oven?"

41. James, Online Chemistry Tutor / small business owner. James blogs at Master Organic Chemistry. He spends between 8-11 hours a day tutoring folks via Skype; when not teaching, he "spends a lot of time in ChemDraw" to construct learning materials. James actually started M.O.C. on the side, while a postdoc in Jerusalem. His current site was 'inspired' by Tenderbutton, Not Voodoo, and...Chatroulette (presumably the non-sketchy part). Ask him about life in the Old City.

42. A surprise entrant! Click here to find out more...

43. Mike, Professor, small liberal arts college. Mike blogs at I Heart d-Orbitals. He's part of the continued trend (Adam, Michael) of profs who realize their time is best spent educating others. His wife jokes that he "...walked onto a college campus [and] never left!" Mike's an organometallic chemist by training, so I'm sure he still thinks 'metal-centric' (like me!) Sage advice: "Sometimes you have to listen to what the world is trying to tell you."

44. JustAddEther, graduate student, "Mysterious Midwest College." (Perhaps where Dr. Bodwin works?). Just chimes in with more graduate perspectives, including why high school counselors shouldn't sell you short of a STEM career. She actually returned to school later, having worked previously as a stylist and bartender (Good training for chem, bartending). Wish JAE luck, as she attempts to join a very sought-after research group - against ten other entrants!

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