Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chemistry Jam Session

I spoke at length with a good friend last night, and remembered how cathartic and enlightening it can be to talk shop; not just about molecules and reactions, but the nitty-gritty, daily ephemera that make science both so frustrating, and yet so rewarding.

Birds of a feather...
We discussed waste disposal, how living downwind of Kansas cement kilns might make you sick. We talked "up-and-comers" of the synthetic world, and how they pay their bills. Topics seemed to flow effortlessly then - silly boss comments, hierarchical Asian educational systems, company policies on travel for conferences, or how much a journal subscription should cost. The "new" (old) coinage metals. Grandstanding. Hilarious interview bloopers. The virtues and pitfalls of reading outside one's field. Though perhaps cliche, "where we'll be in 10 years" may have received some airtime.

Juggling schedules might be hard, but it's ultimately worthwhile to keep that appointment, write that review, or have a beer with an old colleague. You'd be amazed how great it feels to commiserate, compare, and re-connect.

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