Steve – the document you are looking for is the Report of the Council for Chemical Research, CTO Roundtable on Graduate Education, December 13, 2010, Crystal City, VA. The report was written by industry leaders from Air Products, Lilly, Corning, USDA, NSF, Merck, NIST, Arkema and numerous academic facilities.
I have a PDF of the executive summary, but can’t find it on the internet and the List doesn’t allow attachments. I’ll be glad to send you a copy if you’d like. Among the statements in the report:
“Safety. There is a very poor safety culture in academia relative to industry and government labs, and the transition comes as a shock to incoming Ph.D.’s.”
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Over the past 25 years I’ve heard a lot of anecdotal stories about (chemical industry) supervisors lamenting that their straight-out-of-college new hires have not been taught basic laboratory safety principles. Similarly, I know a lot of chemists who reported a “rude awakening” when they started their first job and realized they knew a lot about textbook chemistry principles/theory, but knew essentially nothing about how to read and interpret a SDS/MSDS or how to select an appropriate chemical-resistant glove.
If you’re aware of any reputable journal article, news story (think C&EN, etc.) that addresses this specific topic, please let me know the reference. I’m particularly interested in any piece wherein an industry leader (BASF, Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, Huntsman, etc.) has issued a clarion call (or plea) for higher education to improve their efforts to train future graduates in the basics of laboratory and chemical safety.
Steven J. McLean, ASP, CHMM
Brigham Young University
Laboratory Safety Manager
Risk Management - 241 FB
Office: (801) 422-6879
Cell: (801) 960-5203
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