Publish or Perish: Dealing With the Pressure

Posted in BioBusiness, BioEducation, Career Advice

The “publish or perish” principle of academia is certainly not a new one and is likely as old as scientific research itself. And, while persons who choose scientific research as a career are often motivated by curiosity and the desire to improve the human condition, they soon find out that academic research is highly competitive and oftentimes dominated by overly ambitious and egocentric individuals. I’m sure that most of you have been told that in order to excel your research must be published in the highest impact journal possible.  This, coupled with diminishing research funding can place enormous pressure on individual researchers to gain a competitive edge via less than ethical (and possibly illegal) behavior.

To that point, there was an article in this Sunday’s NY Times that described a postdoc who intentionally sabotaged the efforts of a rising star in a cancer research laboratory at the University of Michigan. While this is only one incident, I do not think that it is the only example of intentional sabotage taking place in academic research laboratories. In fact, this recent incident brings to mind a candid discussion that I had with a prominent academic researcher many years ago.  He confided to me and a colleague that he intentionally sabotaged a fellow postdoc’s work because he did not like his competitor and did not want him to get recognition for a discovery (BTW, this discovery led to a patent that made the researcher a very wealthy person).

There is no doubt that in present times, working in an academic lab can feel like working in a pressure cooker that is about to explode. That said, it is important to realize that you are not alone and that learning coping skills can be helpful in relieving stress and anxiety about future career opportunities and employment.  However, there is never an instance, when cheating, fabricating data or intentionally sabotaging a competitor’s experiments is acceptable.  In fact, any researcher who behaves in this manner ought to be called out, censored and disciplined for their actions.

We are living in uncertain times in which hypocrisy, lies and alternate facts are acceptable to large numbers of people. As scientists, we are responsible for facts and  ”the truth.” Any deviation from this obligation is unacceptable. In the end, people always look to scientists and researchers for answers, solutions and hints of the truth. It is important that we do not succumb to today’s economic and political pressures and continue to be the purveyors of facts and “the truth.”

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!

Life Scientists:Looking for a Job? Consider the Cannabis Industry

Posted in BioBusiness, Career Advice

According to a recent article, the 2013 to 2014 US market for legal Cannabis (medical and recreational) grew 74% from $1.3 billion to $2.7 billion. Industry analysts predict that the legal marijuana industry is (and will continue to be) the fastest-growing industry in the US over the next 5 years with annual revenues topping $11 billion by 2020.  And, as the industry grows so will employment opportunities. At present, salaries associated with various job functions in the Cannabis industry range from $50,000 to $90,000. As many businesses that support the Cannabis industry continue to grow, the competition for qualified employed will intensify and salaries will concomitantly rise. Currently,, there aren’t enough trained job candidates to fill the many job openings at Cannabis companies. I am sure that many of you who hold graduate degrees in the life sciences are wondering why I am pitching jobs in the Cannabis industry.

First, traditional jobs for PhD-trained life scientist are getting scarcer and the election of Donald Trump suggests that this trend will not be reversed anytime soon.

Second, consider that growing and cultivating marijuana and extracting cannabinoids (the pharmaceutically active molecules in Cannabis buds) require a background in laboratory methods, chemistry, biology and in some cases plant science. For those of you who may not know, the medical Cannabis market is focusing almost exclusively on cannabis extracts and vaporization of these extracts (rather than smoking) is the preferred delivery methods. This suggests that those of you with backgrounds in biomedical engineering and medical devices  can leverage your expertise and skills to obtain jobs in the delivery side of the cannabis industry.  

Third, the expansive growth and sheer economic size of the Cannabis industry suggests that other jobs that require a life science background are likely to emerge. These include quality control/assurance jobs for strain identification, diagnostic jobs to determine THC levels/intoxication, molecular biology and bioinformatic jobs to continue to explore and unlike therapeutically relevant molecules from the Cannabis genome and synthetic biology jobs to increase cannabinoid yields and reduce production costs. Finally, there is currently a dearth of qualified job candidates with scientific backgrounds to fill entry level grow and extraction jobs in the Cannabis industry.

At present, the industry is mainly dominated by long time Cannabis growers, people who use marijuana on a regular basis and some moxy business people/investors who see an an enormous upside for the Cannabis industry. Put simply, now is the time to get in on the ground floor of an industry that is exploding and will ultimately become a legal multibillion dollar a year industry. While I’m sure that neither you nor your parents/family envisioned a career in Cannabis, the jobs are there and ripe for the picking (pun intended).

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!

Is A PhD Degree Worth It?

Posted in BioEducation

There is no longer any question that it is becoming increasingly difficult for PhD life scientists to find jobs. Further, there is no longer any doubt that the academic system responsible for the current glut of PhD life scientists on the market is broken and needs to be fixed. However, it is important to point out that the decision the get a PhD degree is a very personal one and, in most cases, is not based on the prospect of future long term employment.  In fact, most graduate students and postdoctoral scientists that I have talked to over the past 10 years, don’t think about the need to find a job until they learn that their funding is running out.  The point  is, that just because you have a PhD degree it does not entitle you to a job. Further, looking for a job takes commitment, time and a lot of work and unfortunately some PhD scientists mistakenly  think that the “jobs will/should come to them.”  Put simply, if you aren’t willing to put in the work to find a job, which may mean additional training or a possible career change, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.

In 1974, shortly after I was admitted to the graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I received a congratulatory letter from my soon-to-be PhD adviser. In the letter he made a comment about “the blood, sweat and tears” that are required to earn a PhD degree.  At the time, I was a youthful, ambitious 21 year-old, who thought he could do anything and I had no idea what he was talking about!  Seven painful and often tearful years later, I finally understood what he meant by those words; because I had lived them!  I  have no doubt that many who are reading this post have had similar experiences. However, earning your  PhD degree is only the very beginning of your journey. And, like it or not,  the only thing that a PhD guarantees is that others will call you “doctor”and that you can add the letters “PhD” after your name!

For the past several months I have been following a question on a LinkedIn group that asked: “If you had to do it all over again, would you have still chosen to get your PhD degree”. For me, the answer is an unequivocal YES!  And, like the first time, that decision would not have been based on the notion that there would or should be a job waiting for me at the end of my training.  My decision was a personal one based on my “love of microbiology” not the guarantee of future employment.

So,  to those of you who feel like the system has let you down and that you have been abused, I feel your pain but offer the following. If you wanted a guaranteed job at the end of your training than you ought to have considered a career in medicine, nursing, law, engineering, physical therapy, carpentry, plumbing or any other profession where a license is required to practice. These professionals offer a “service” to people and, in exchange for services rendered, they get paid for their efforts.  Like it or not, laboratory research is a not a service or fee-based industry and consequently has minimal short term personal value to people. And, not surprisingly, the demand for PhD life scientists, well trained or not, is not high.

In closing, nobody said getting a PhD degree was going to be easy. And, as somebody once said to me, “if getting a PhD degree was easy, then everybody would have one!”  That said, be proud that you earned your degree; but the hard work has only just begun!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!

Even the Nobel Prize Cannot Weather the Recession

Posted in BioBusiness

Every young scientist that I have ever met dreams of one day possibly winning the Nobel Prize for the research that they have undertaken. While that dream mainly emanates from the desire to make seminal contributions that advance science, there is also a cash prize given to Nobel winners that frequently allows them to continue or support research in their fields.

On Monday, the Nobel Foundation, which awards the prize, announced that it is reducing the cash awarded with Nobel Prizes by almost 20 percent. Each prize given by the foundation will now be worth about $1.1 million down from the $1.4 million previously given to winners in recent years. The reason for the reduction; bad investments made by the foundation. Because of extremely poor returns on invested capital, the foundation’s endowment valued at $419 million (as ofDec. 31, 2011) lost 8 percent of its value as compared with the previous year. To be fair, over the past decade, the costs of prizes and associated operating expenses have exceeded the endowment’s average annual return.

According to an article in the NY Times, the Nobel Foundation’s endowment has about 50 percent invested in equities, 20 percent in fixed-income investment and 30 percent in alternative assets. Yesterday’s announcement represents the first reduction in the face value of Nobel Prizes since 1949.

 

source New York Times

 

A Nobel Foundation spokesperson justified the prize reduction by saying “The Nobel Foundation is responsible for ensuring that the prize sum can be maintained at a high level in the long term.”

Perhaps the foundation ought to consult some the winners of its economics prizes before making future investments!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!

 

Why Many Scientists Have A PR Problem!

Posted in BioEducation

I apologize in advance for this rant but I have been participating in an almost six month long thread on LinkedIn discussing whether or not PhD-trained scientists lack the social discipline and knowledge necessary to favorably interact with the lay public. Not surprisingly, a majority of participants contend that most PhD-bearing life scientists lack social graces to the point where they come off as being aloof, condescending and enamored with their own intelligence and projects that they choose to work on.

While I tend to generally agree with this characterization, I contend that the lack of social discipline exhibited by many graduate students and postdocs is not a result of personality defects but can likely be attributed to the attitudes and behaviors learned from their mentors and PIs. Put simply, graduate students and postdocs would likely learn to behave differently in social situations if they were trained differently by their PIs and mentors.

Now: the reason for the rant. In yesterday’s Science Times, there was an article about a Princeton-based writer, Jeffrey Eugenides, who decided to write a novel using a life sciences researcher as its main character. Mr. Eugenides, who previously wrote a well received novel entitled “Middlesex,” does not possess a scientific background nor has he spent any time in a research laboratory. In fact, despite living in Princeton a bastion of life sciences research, he had no friends or even acquaintances who were scientists. His closest connect to science is his wife, an artist who spent a winter in Cold Spring Harbor (but not at the research center). Nevertheless, creating a main character who is a scientist required that he do a lot of internet research to learn about scientific research and what makes “scientists tick.” To that end, he read peer-reviewed yeast genetics papers to better understand the focus of the main character’s research—yeast mating genetics. It took him many years to collect the information necessary to write the novel. And a scientist—whose research laid the foundation for work described in the novel—was astounded that Eugenides got it exactly right!

Because Princeton University is home to one of the world’s leading yeast genetics programs, Eugenides decided to chat with yeast geneticists actively engaged in basic research to get an idea of what actually goes on in a research laboratory. To accomplish this he turned to one of the world’s leading experts on yeast geneticist at Princeton to ask for help. Although the geneticist thought that Eugenides needed an explanation of the research described in the novel, Eugenides simply wanted to spend a day in his laboratory and interact with “real” scientists. After hearing this, the geneticist handed Eugenides off to his laboratory manager and left the lab.

When interviewed for the story in the NY Times, the geneticist quipped “I never heard of the book, and I don’t remember talking to the guy.” Taken at face value his comments are not intentionally pejorative or demeaning. But, they do suggest an air of arrogance, indifference and most importantly disinterest. I suspect that this is because the visit had little to do with the geneticist’s work and, in the end, there was not much in it for him—so why waste his time?

Sadly this is exactly the attitudes and behaviors exhibited by many scientists. Is it any wonder why many lay people think that most scientists are arrogant, self absorbed and indifferent when it comes to social graces? Although the scientist mentioned in the post is world renown in scientific circles, he did not come off well (to me anyway) in the article. That said, he created a PR problem for himself.

While in the past it was convenient for academicians to “live in the ivory tower” the recession, an increasingly lousy job market for PhD-trained scientists and the advent of social media suggests that we have entered into a new age. Like it or not, social skills are absolutely required for gainful employment in today’s world. I think it is time for academics to realize this and change the way in which they train their graduate students and postdocs.

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall: Which Recent College Graduates Have the Highest Unemployment Rates of All?

Posted in BioEducation

It is no secret that recent college graduates are having a tough time finding work. However, not all college majors are created equal and the unemployment rates among different disciplines are likely to vary. To answer this question, a group of researchers at the Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce analyzed employment data for recent college graduates from an in-depth US census study entitled the American Community Survey conducted in 2009 and 2010. In the study, recent college grades were defined as workers (with college degrees of course) between ages 22 and 26.

The results of the study are shown in the graph below.

The data clearly show that among recent college grads, those who studied architecture have the highest unemployment rate at 13.9%. This finding was not that surprisingly given that the collapse of the housing and construction markets were mainly responsible for the ongoing recession that began in 2007. 

Unemployment rates were lowest among college graduates with training in education and healthcare. Again, these results are not that start. Again, these results were not startling because the US population continues to age (healthcare-related jobs) and the number of school-aged children skyrocketed in the past 20 years (education jobs).

Interestingly, the unemployment rate among engineering graduate, 7.4% is relatively high despite the fact that HR and employment experts contend that there is a shortage of engineers in the US.

Finally, unemployment rates among graduates with art degrees and those who possess degrees in the humanities and liberal art are still very high at 11.1% and 9.4% respectively. That said, maybe getting that MS or PhD degree in the life sciences was not such a bad idea after all!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!

 

More Workforce Diversity is Needed in the Life Sciences

Posted in BioBusiness

As scientists, we all  subscribe to the notion that diversity is a critical component to the evolution of any species. While we this is a well known fact, the life sciences industry, like others, struggles with workforce diversity mainly in the area of research and development. For example the number of minority students—blacks and hispanics—who receive PhD degrees is miniscule as compared with their white counterparts.  Graduate schools struggle to promote diversity in their programs but their efforts to date have been lackluster.

One of the factors that contribute to the lack of representation of minority students in the life sciences may be the lack of access to equal educational opportunities. With this in mind, the folks over at onlinecolleges.net sent me a post that has a plethora of information about the state of minority education in the US. I culled relevant information from the list and reproduced it for this post.

Stereotyping impairs performance

A startling Ohio State University study exploring the effects of racial stereotyping uncovered some very unfortunate truths. Nearly 160 African-American students were asked to write an essay about an average college student, either named "Tyrone" or "Erik," with the implication being that the former is black and the latter white. Those assigned Tyrone scored an average of 4.5 on a standardized test, while Team Erik ended up with 6.2. Although possessing equal academic aptitude, researchers believe prevailing stereotypes negatively impact performance — thus creating an unjust cycle reinforced by students and teachers alike. 

Hispanic high school students had the highest dropout rate in 2009

The National Center for Educational Statistics shows that 17.6% of Hispanic high school students drop out before completing their diplomas or GEDs. Reasons vary from kid to kid, of course, and do not necessarily denote poor grades or discipline. On a positive note, however, Hispanic dropout rates decline steadily every year, with 2008 seeing 18.3% of the high school population leaving before graduating. 

Minorities comprise 32% of undergraduate enrollees

Undergraduate enrollment has actually increased among all racial and ethnic demographics, although minorities remain heavily underrepresented on American college campuses. Only 32% of postsecondary students are minorities as of 2004 statistics, but their numbers increase yearly — certainly a positive trend. Between 1976 and 2004, Asians and Pacific Islanders experienced the highest rate of increase, boasting a whopping 461%. So while the number still seems low these days, minorities are definitely catching up on campus and enjoy more opportunities to have their voices heard and heeded.

Minorities comprise 25% of graduate enrollees

With increased minority undergraduate enrollment came more representation in graduate programs, though at a slower pace. 2004 statistics showed that 25% of master’s and doctoral students were minorities, up from 11% in 1976. The most rampant increase occurred among Hispanics, at 377%. Once again, there’s absolutely nothing "scary" about more opportunities and representation in higher education. But the numbers could definitely be higher, especially since more enrollees means more imperative to address diverse needs.

Minorities comprise 10.2% of private school principals

In total, of course, as statistics vary rapidly depending on what — if any — denomination owns and operates the schools in question. Seventh-Day Adventist institutions lead the way, with 26.4% minority principals. Administrators of black, non-Hispanic or Latino descent are most prevalent, particularly in Seventh-Day Adventist (17.7%) and Pentecostal (14.7%) schools. They also make up 5.2% of total minority principals. When it comes to private education, more needs doing to ensure minority students and staff alike see their requests properly met.

The majority of black and Hispanic students attend high-poverty schools

Statistics from 2005 school year revealed that black and Hispanic students populate high-poverty schools more than any other minority. The National Center for Education Statistics considers "high-poverty schools," which are those with 75% or more attendees receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Forty-eight percent of black and 49% of Hispanic 4th graders hail from such desperately wanting institutions, while Asians and Pacific Islanders are more evenly distributed across economic demographics. 

Hispanic and black students are less likely to have internet access at home

Because of this, they adapt to classroom technology at a slower pace than their white, Asian and Native American peers. Twenty-six percent of Hispanic and 27% of black students use the internet at home, compared to 58% of Asian and 47% of Native American kids, resulting in a very unfortunate achievement gap. Numbers are improving, of course, but there’s still a ways to go before the gulf starts shrinking.

Schools with black or Hispanic majorities are more likely to hire underqualified or novice teachers

In fact, 25% of math educators at schools with 50% or more black students do not hold a degree or any other qualifications in the subjects they teach — probably the most egregious example. And once said teachers rack up the experience, they usually flee to more affluent (and white) areas. Such an unfortunate and enduring phenomenon plays a major role in perpetuating, if not outright widening, the achievement gap. Without knowledgeable, experienced and engaged teachers, students in affected schools typically lag behind and never receive the academic opportunities that should be afforded all youngsters. 

More black students repeat grades than any other racial or ethnic demographic

Both genders, too. In 2007, 25.6% of black males and 15.3% of black females between kindergarten and 12th grade had repeated at least one grade. These numbers, though, only reflect the issue as it relates to public school students. 

More black students receive suspensions and expulsions than any other racial or ethnic demographic

Between 6th and 12th grades, the 2007 school year saw 49.5% of black males and 34.7% of black females reporting that they had received at least one suspension in their academic careers. When it comes to expulsions, 16.6% of males and 8.2% of females said they had been dismissed from school at least once.

Hispanic teenagers have the highest pregnancy rate

In 2007, 81.7 out of every 1,000 Hispanic teenage girls gave birth — more than any other race or ethnicity. Across all demographics, however, the numbers are steadily decreasing.

This probably has something to do with improved sex education and easier access to necessary birth control devices, though the problem still requires considerable intervention. Especially since popping out babies as a high schooler is all trendy these days.

Clearly, until some of these problems are addressed, then it is likely that workforce diversity in the life sciences will continue to lag.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!

 

Standing Up to Bogus Scientific Claims Made By Republicans!

Posted in BioEducation

As I scientist, I find it offensive that Republican Presidential candidates like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are allowed to spew false claims and scientifically-wrong information to the public without a peep from the scientific community. Perhaps many scientists choose to not publicly speak out–even though they know that the information is wrong or unsubstantiated–because they don’t want to attract attention to their often arcane research for fear that their funding may be cut.  Or, maybe,scientists too often believe that the public won’t understand what they say anyway. Whatever the reason, I applaud two bioethicists, Art Caplan at the University of Pennsylvania and Steve Miles at the University of Minnesota, for standing up to Michele Bachmann, a tea party Republican presidential hopeful, assertions that  human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines–that protect against cervical cancer –cause mental retardation in those girls who are vaccinated with them.

Caplan accomplished this by publicly offering $10,000 to charity if  Bachmann can prove her claim that she mad during a GOP debate on Monday night that HPV vaccination causes mental retardation. Similarly, Steve Miles offered $1,000 to Bachmann if she could substantiate her claims.

At present, HPV vaccination is voluntary. Further, there is absolutely no clinical data that links HPV vaccination to the onset of autism or for that matter mental retardation. As many of you know by now, the research that was used to show a link between childhood vaccinations and autism was fabricated and the scientist who performed the work was found to be a fraud.

Unfortunately, many politicians feel compelled to share their scientific views– and make claims to support those views–without being qualified or trained to analyze whether or not the claims they make are scientifically accurate or valid.  Anecdotal, scientifically-unproven rhetoric is unacceptable when making scientific claims for or against a specific product.  To that end, I suspect that if Merck and GSK, the manufacturers of two FDA-approved HPV vaccines, were so inclined they could possibly file defamation lawsuits against Bachmann. This is because I believe that she intentionally made comments that are known not to be true with malicious intent. Interestingly, sales one of the HPV products, Merck’s Gardasil, have recently hit an all time low!

I think it is time for the scientific community to publicly debunk many of the scientific myths e.g., vaccination and autism, creative design and that global warning is not real,  perpetrated upon the public by bat-shit crazy members of the tea party, right wing conservative republicans  and religious zealots.  Failure to do so will lead to the ongoing decline in STEM preparedness and competitiveness in the US.

Hat tip to Drs. Caplan and Miles for publicly challenging one of the many scientifically-illiterate candidates running for president.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!

 

How Online Courses Can Help You Secure a Job

Posted in Career Advice

The job market is rough, and many in the field of science, whether they are a chemist or a biologist, are having difficulty obtaining a position. Unless you want a low-paying tech or lab position there isn’t much currently available, especially if you don’t have an advanced degree. However, many recent college graduates are beginning to find that taking a few online courses can greatly increase their odds of being hired.

For years, online colleges carried poor reputations, but that stigma is rapidly fading. As current professionals are having to obtain additional education on limited schedules, and the internet as a source of knowledge is becoming more trusted, a degree obtained from an accredited online college is now viewed by much of the population as being just as viable as one received from a traditional university.

Employers no longer scowl at online degrees either. In fact, many are beginning to believe that those who obtain degrees online, or those who simply add to their education by taking a few courses, may actually be more valuable than traditionally educated individuals. Seeking additional education online may actually make you more enticing as a job applicant because managing your own education says multiple things about your character.

The Educational Benefit

The main reason why anyone seeks out additional education is to obtain the skill set they need to succeed. By taking online courses you will gain more knowledge of your industry which will make you a more appealing candidate for employers. You will have a more well-rounded understanding of your field, and by taking the classes may secure the additional education needed to look better than another deserving candidate.

The Personal Benefit

Struggling to find a job is no easy task, and at times it can be really rough on your self esteem. By pursuing additional education, you are able to achieve personal goals, and gain greater confidence in your knowledge and abilities. Having both of these attributes will make employers more likely to hire you. Plus, taking the additional courses will keep your mind fresh and will also keep your occupied and focus during your down time.

The Professional Benefit

From an employer’s perspective, those who are willing to manage their education on their own are self-starters. They are motivated individuals who now how to set goals and obtain them. Online classes aren’t like typical on-campus classes, and require students to remain focused on the tasks at hand. There is no one there to remind them of due dates and constant assignments. Employers know this, and know that anyone capable of getting good grades or a degree from an online university is a driven and organized person, which is what many employers are looking for.

The job market it tough, but your college degree isn’t to blame for your lack of employment. Thousands of people have lost their jobs or are struggling to find position all over the United States, and the poor economy isn’t helping. The fact of the matter is that the lacking economy has made it hard for anyone to find a job whether they are a biologist like you or a math teacher.

However, all hope is not lost. There are still plenty of well paying positions in the biological field, and you can still find one in one of the various public and private firms that are still hiring. Just keep in mind that there are hundreds of others seeking the same position you are. To get ahead you simply have to be more competitive and make yourself more enticing to employers, and increasing your knowledge by taking online college courses may be the first step in the right direction. 

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!

A Course That Teaches Scientists to Talk to "Real People"

Posted in BioEducation

It is no secret that one of the greatest impediments to improving the public understanding of science is the inability of scientists to articulate the importance of their work and ideas to non-scientists. 

Early in my career I was guilty like most of the rest of you. The first hint that I was not getting through to lay people was their eyes glazing over when I attempted to explain what my research was about. I quickly realized that I needed to learn how to better present my ideas to non-scientists if I wanted to engage them in casual conversations about science. 

Unfortunately, most of the persons charged with training scientists see little or no value in teaching their students to communicate to lay persons about their research or science in general. After all, they wouldn’t understand it anyway so why bother? That justification may have been valid 30 years ago but with the advent of the Internet and more recently social media, it is vitally important that the correct scientific information is disseminated to the lay public. In case you hadn’t notices, there is an awful lot of scientific misinformation out there that is being taken as “the truth” by large segments of the American public.

Recognizing this, Pat Marsteller a biologist and science educator at Emory University in Atlanta developed a course entitled “Communicating Science” which is designed to tech graduate students to write for and talk to non-scientists. She teaches the course with two chemists, mainly because the majority of students who took the class last semester (the first time it was taught) were chemists. Apparently, most of the students were “volun-told” to take the class by a chemistry adviser. This became apparent to Dr. Marsteller during the first class meeting when a chemistry student quipped: “Why Should I want to talk to anybody who doesn’t understand carbon?” Go figure….

While the course is designed to eliminate jargon and science speak so it is more comprehensible to non-scientists, it also stresses the different ways in which scientific information ought to be transmitted to different audiences that a scientist may encounter during his/her careers. For an example of this click here.

Hat tip to Dr. Marsteller for developing such a forward-thinking and necessary course.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!