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Do you think there are too many chemists and research scientists in America?

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Do you think there are too many chemists and research scientists in America?

Postby therron57 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:53 pm

Whenever I drive back from my law office to my house, I always pass through a bunch of suburban office parks, and it seems like most of the businesses are related to chemistry or some kind of biotech. They all have names like GenBioNext or Hartwell Biologics or Alliance Genomics or so forth.

Anyway, it seems like the names CHANGE fairly often, too. It's like these places are popping in and out of existence all the time.

Now, I don't know what kind of crazy dark magic cloning all those guys are working on, but is it possible we simply have too many chemists and research scientists in America? We have more chemists and stuff than there are discoveries to be discovered, and this hurts the market.

Plus, when you have all these unemployed chemists running around, I'm sure a few of them are tempted to move from legit science into dark science like undercover organ transplants, making illegal drugs, or working on suitcase nukes for terrorists.

I'm just a simple admiralty/maritime lawyer, but I know trouble when I see it.

Are there simply too many chemists in America?
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Do you think there are too many chemists and research scientists in America?

Postby varik » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:59 pm


wow - you really put yourself out there for this question...

So, given that you are a lawyer, you should have spotless reasoning skills, or at least good enough to answer this rather rhetorical question. This fact, if indeed you are a lawyer, raises the interesting question as to why you are asking this specific question.
Let me make several parallels. You are a lawyer, and as such are in some modicum responsible for the enforcement of the law. Lawyers are plentiful, and seem to abound in America, yet crime is rampant in all forms. Is there too much crime, i.e. - too few lawyers, or is the abundance in crime due to too few good lawyers, with the offshoot of too many bad lawyers?

Free enterprise (and acquisition) and patent law would be the simple answer to your question regarding the number of the companies, and name changes within pharma and biotech, but of this, I am sure you already knew.

As far as too many scientists, you are making broad, general statements, much like my statement above regarding too many lawyers. Just as lawyers are involved in just about every layer of society, from patent lawyers, to defense attorneys, so are scientists. Again, I am sure you realize this fact.

To address your humorous speculation as to "hurting the market", you clearly do not understand the process by which most research takes place. Most "earth shattering" and "cutting edge" research takes place in academic settings (universities, academic research institutions, medical schools). This research is typically funded by the government (NIH, NSF, DARPA, etc.). Only the best ideas get funded, and survive. Generally, only once an idea/drug/breakthrough has been given merit via academic research, and there is legal consent from the academic institution, will a pharma/ biotech company pick it up for further development. Although pharma/ biotech companies can and will fund their own research, they still look over a shoulder. Those scientists who can't successfully find funding in academia, or those that have no desire to conduct academic research (vs. industry) still have an exceptional outlook, in numerous avenues ( pharma/ biotech industry, government panels, executive/ consulting positions, etc.) .

As another poster commented - scientists, specifically those with a Ph.D., are seldom truly unemployed. Chemists in particular (some even without a Ph.D.) are always in high demand. Period. Sorry to break the news to you.

Given your current thought process, we should all be afraid of too many lawyers becoming unemployed and legally assisting gangs, or other forms of organized crime/ terror.
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Do you think there are too many chemists and research scientists in America?

Postby doran » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:11 pm

No. If there were there would be cures for every disease.
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Do you think there are too many chemists and research scientists in America?

Postby gillivray5 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:20 pm

No, there are just not enough jobs for them.

A few years ago, there was a serious shortage of chemists and scientists. People were going into science in order to have a job once they were finished with their studies. Then the science market started to shrink, and then the credit crunch came, meaning even more were out of work.

Don't worry about the illegit stuff; most scientists know the risks and do not wish to expose themselves to them.
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Do you think there are too many chemists and research scientists in America?

Postby larry » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:25 pm

Please tell me your kidding. You're a lawyer, you should know better than this.
To start off with, you have to remember something. Companies are based off of several different individual skills. It's not just 100 or so chemists in one building doing crazy experiments. There's the marketing, human resources, etc divisions. Chemists are the backbone of the company, sure, but they're few in number compared to the rest of the company. Also, you don't know for sure these companies employ chemists by just their name. Look at Starbucks for an example. If you didn't know they served coffee, what do you think their company would be based off of? Selling starfish and sea shells?
Secondly, America really doesn't have too many scientists/chemists. They're actually in high demand now since technology is such a dominant part of our daily lives now. If a person is really bent on making illegal drugs and other substances with his PhD or BA, he's going to do it no matter what. There's always need for scientists, so chances are if he is laid off, he won't be laid off for long, therefore making him not go into "dark science" as you like to call it.

But seriously, lay off whatever YOU'RE on. This is way too much speculation on your part, mixed in with fantasy and imagination. These things just don't happen. Once in a great while they will, but nothing like you're describing.
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Do you think there are too many chemists and research scientists in America?

Postby adalwine » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:35 pm

Of course there are. America should be full of lawyers.
I know that even now it has more lawers per head of population than any other country in the world. It has 500% more per head than its nearest rival, but there is room for plenty more.
Sadly lawyers can not help to grow better food, or make better pesticides and fertilizers or devise better treatments for sickness, but they can issue much larger invoices for services than any other "service" to mankind and that must count for a lot.
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