Nontraditional Careers for Chemists: New Formulas in Chemistry, By Lisa M. Balbes Inspire article

Nontraditional Careers for Chemists: New Formulas in Chemistry is the perfect book for chemistry students who are interested in exploring career options beyond the laboratory.

Lisa Balbes manages to convince the reader that science-trained professionals have many skills, including logical and analytical thinking, as well as research methods that are necessary to survive in today’s workplace. She demonstrates that a chemistry background is essential for a plethora of positions.

Each chapter presents detailed profiles of several chemists who have achieved a successful career in their field of endeavour. The book contains valuable information on the types of skills, personality traits and knowledge required to be competitive on the job market.

Profiles of nontraditional chemistry careers include communications, information science, patent law, sales and marketing, business development, regulatory affairs, safety, computer science, human resources, public policy and education. All contributors give detailed accounts of their current positions and career paths, finishing with advice and predictions about the future of their jobs.

For example, TV producer and science writer Rani Chohan works at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the USA. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Elmhurst College in 1996 and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. Her job is to communicate the science of NASA to the rest of the world. Rani advises readers to love science, not to be afraid to explore different subjects and to build up a good writing portfolio.

Osman F. Güner is the Executive Director of Cheminformatics and Rational Drug Design at Accelrys Inc. Osman has a BSc and an MSc in chemistry from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and a PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry from the Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. In his company, which makes computer science and informatics software, Osman is directly responsible for profits and losses, and he is involved primarily in product planning, management and marketing. Osman’s top advice is that if you choose computational chemistry in life sciences as a career, you must be prepared to improve your knowledge and understanding of biology.

Finally, Linda Wraxall is a Criminalist Lab Safety Officer at the California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory, USA. During her BSc in zoology at the University of London, UK, she also took courses in botany and chemistry. Linda is responsible for the safety of more than 100 scientists in the laboratory. She oversees training, chemical inventories, troubleshooting and preventative measures to keep her co-workers safe, healthy and productive. Linda’s top advice is that networking is vital in any profession, particularly in her own job.

Nontraditional Careers for Chemists is a well organised and insightful book. It would be a useful resource for all teachers and career advisors.


Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication year: 2006

ISBN: 9780195183665




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