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Science Careers Aren't All Rosy

February 16, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 7

Important Notice

National Meeting Program Moves Online

ACS national meeting and exposition preliminary and final technical programs will no longer be printed in their entirety in C&EN. They will now be available on the ACS website. The full ACS governance committee agendas, the ACS division technical program summary grids, and the full technical program, which have traditionally appeared in C&EN, will be online only. For the upcoming meeting in Salt Lake City, all program information is online at

This initiative is in accordance with the society's goals of environmental and financial sustainability. Paper will be saved, as will postage and production expenses. Because there will be no lead time required for printing and mailing, national meeting program material will be available earlier than ever before.

Specifically, committee information is available at To access the division technical program summary grids and the online technical program, visit and select the "Technical Program" link on the left navigation.

C&EN will print essential information in a preliminary program approximately eight weeks before each national meeting. For the meeting in Salt Lake City, this appeared in the Jan. 26 issue. Additional information will appear in the issue of C&EN that is published approximately four weeks prior to the meeting. For the Salt Lake City meeting, this information will appear on March 2.

The technical program will be available online by Feb. 23, one week earlier than in the past. Links to the program will appear in a box in both the online and print versions of C&EN, as well as on the front page of We encourage divisions to link to the meeting program from their websites. The entire technical program will be available in searchable PDF format on C&EN Online on March 2.

As always, the on-site meeting program book will be distributed in Salt Lake City.

Please direct any questions to Denise Creech at

HAVING READ "The Lure of Informal Education," I am surprised at the persistent popular belief that it is possible to spark a serious interest in science among children and adults (C&EN, Nov. 24, 2008, page 45). The reason new generations are not interested is simple: Children see who gets to rub elbows with local celebrities—the people with nice cars, houses, vacations, offices with a view (you get the point)—and it isn't the scientist in the neighborhood.

The scientist will likely be laid off when he or she becomes too expensive for the corporation, while the business-school folks determine their income and job longevity.

So why would a modern-day youngster in the U.S. ever consider science beyond a hobby, especially if they are driven, ambitious people (even if ambitious just means professionally)? I think the growing disparity in science and business college enrollments tells the story, and this will not be changed by motivational speeches or similar efforts.

J. Gabriel DosRamos
Northborough, Mass.


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