Saturday, May 12, 2012

Trifling Observations

The major issue with working at interfaces is that when you need to return to a place of stability, said place of stability often needs quite a bit of attention. You've left it abandoned and unattended, and it will suck up all of your effort until you've returned it to a state of steady reliability. Of course, one never lingers for long, as there either is a new avenue to wander down in one's research or to bring a different project off the back burner.

This tangentially ties into some discussion last month (at a couple of blogs, by my recollection) about how the academic sector does not adequately prepare one for positions in the private sector, at least insofar in chemistry. While numerous wry remarks can be made about the state of the chemistry job market in response to this, it relates - broadly - to the breadth of modern chemistry. Even if you were to organize a curriculum solely for aspiring chemists (here in the US, aspiring engineers and biologists & medical students make up a non-trivial fraction of the general and organic chemistry student populace), you still have to figure out how to make a course palatable for those who may end up working in any number of fields and subspecialties, and will likely end up switching and moving about in any case. The idea (naive as it might be) is that one develops the foundation to pursue anything from synthetic organic chemistry to ultrafast chemical dynamics to chemical biology. Or even all three, if you're feeling adventurous.


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