Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 16:05:35 -0600
Reply-To: "Steven J. Burks" <steve**At_Symbol_Here**CAREERFASTTRACK.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Steven J. Burks" <steve**At_Symbol_Here**CAREERFASTTRACK.COM>
Subject: Re: Students not selecting chemistry
Comments: To: Labsafe**At_Symbol_Here**AOL.COM
In-Reply-To: <21d.26d9bd9.30a5ccf3**At_Symbol_Here**>

The reason why students are not going into chemistry has nothing to do with
the safety rules etc.  It is supply and demand in the marketplace.

All of the chemistry jobs are going overseas.  The US chemical industry is
losing 1000 jobs every single month and has been since 1999.    We are now
closing 5 chemical plants in the US EVERY SINGLE MONTH on average as
production goes overseas.  Pay has been stagnant and in some cases dropped
in the real world of chemistry over the last 5 years.  The ACS has its head
in the sand and cannot really do anything.  The chemical industry in the US
will never be the same again.

I have a PhD in chemistry, but there is no way I would recommend to my kids
to go into it.  Does not make any economic sense at all.

Chemists have been downsized, moved and abused for about 10 years.  I do not
feel sorry for the industry.

In terms of the University scene as a college professor I see all of the
experiments being made safer etc.  That results in less of a hands on
experience for the students. The fun of chemistry has been removed to a
certain extent.

Best Regards,

Steven J. Burks

Steven J. Burks, PhD
Sanford Rose Associates - Crystal Lake
Executive Search Consultants
Professionals for the Food Manufacturing, Specialty Chemicals, Plastics
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Phone 815-444-8382
Fax 815-444-8390
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-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU]On Behalf Of
Jim Kaufman
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 4:31 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Students not selecting chemistry

What does the ACS data show for the last 10, 20, 30, 40 years on the number
of chemistry major grads, masters, and PhDs?   ... Jim

In a message dated 11/11/2005 12:02:43 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
LISTSERV**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU writes:

Further  back on the education chain, though, the worry is that young
people  are not being attracted to chemistry because of the draconian
application of Health and Safety rules.  The sort of experiments  that
we did in labs with Bunsen burners and mixing things and hoping  for
bangs and liking to see fermentation and bubbling and grizzling,  has
now been banned.  A teacher stands behind a glass screen  and
demonstrates.  In other words, all the three of them  agreed, it seems
to be no fun at all for students who are peeling  away from chemistry
en masse.  The worry is not only that fewer  students are taking up
chemistry, but that even those who are taking  it up cannot be hands
on and, therefore, cannot begin to be  innovative at the start of
their careers.  There was worry that  this would lead to a drop off of
real interest in pushing chemistry  forward into areas where it is now
so important, to do with research  into fuels into the atmosphere and
so on.

It seems that,  again and again, when we bandage people against
reality we save some  things but seem to lose at least as much and
perhaps far more  important things.  As this country has been so
fantastically  effective in its studies of chemistry over the past two
centuries,  it would be a pity if over-fierce regulation were to crush
the life  out of it, which seems to be the case.

James A.  Kaufman, Ph.D.

The  Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI)
A Nonprofit International Organization  for
Safety in Science and Science Education

192 Worcester Road,  Natick, MA 01760-2252
508-647-1900 Fax: 508-647-0062
Cell: 508-574-6264  Res: 781-237-1335

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