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October 2001
Vol. 10, No. 10, p 11
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How Many Hats Can You Wear?
I loved John Borchardt’s article “How Many Hats Can You Wear?” [Workplace Perspectives, July 2001, p 27], especially the portion about problem solving. I believe analysts should be problem solvers as well and that it behooves them to learn more about the labs around them (sending samples if a specific technique can’t solve the problem) and about the customers’ processes and products.

Valerie Woodward

Workers Speak
Thank you for a great article on salaries of ACS chemists (“Chemists Defy the Gravity of the Economy”, August 2001, p 24). I am interested in more details on the government part of the survey. Do you have more details on the chemist salaries for local, state, and federal chemists?

Gary A. Smith
Department of Ecology

Author’s reply:

Additional information from the ACS Salary and Employment Survey was published in the August 20th issue of Chemical & Engineering News. The complete survey results will be published by ACS later this year.

If you are an ACS member, you may also be interested in the ACS Salary Comparator on the ACS Web site (http://center.acs.org/applications/acscomparator/page01.cfm). By entering information on your particular circumstances, such as degree level, years since B.S. degree, type and size of employer, and location, you can determine the salary paid to chemists of your experience, field, type of employer, etc. in your area.

John K. Borchardt

Scouts’ Honor
As a recipient of your outstanding chemistry periodical, I had the sincere pleasure of reading the article by James Schmidt (“A Chemist Is Trustworthy, Helpful...”, August 2001, p 32). This article was an excellent example of how professional organizations can develop and instill academic excellence and interest in Scouts for the physical sciences and engineering. It was also an outstanding example of the “leadership in action” skills promoted by the Boy Scouts of America. I am a chemistry graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and represent the school as one of its field liaison officers. In that role, I search for scholastically qualified student leaders who are seeking the academic challenges offered by the military academies. Your article reinforced the honor, trustworthiness, and service beyond oneself that I bring to my duties and that is embodied in the Boy Scouts and professional chemistry societies mentioned in this article.

J. C. Britain, PE
Commander, CEC,
U.S. Naval Reserve

Being a chemist and a Boy Scout for over 35 years I find it comforting to read that others are proactive in what I consider a very important organization for the youth of today.

Almost 10 years ago I approached the president (George Vincent) of C. P. Hall, a specialty plasticizer supplier in Chicago, with the request to make the manufacturing facility available for the chemistry merit badge. Although we run the facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we find it easier to plan the tours on Saturdays; it is much less hectic during the weekend. The Scouts would be in full uniform and make little impact on the functioning of the plant. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that George was the proud father of two Eagle Scouts. George made it known that he encouraged this opportunity to use the facility for the benefit of scouting. Since that time, we have had nine Scouts tour the manufacturing and lab areas. All completed the requirements and received the Chemistry merit badge. We use the conference room to review safety practices and hand out hard hats and safety glasses before the tour and then return there to summarize and quiz the Scouts on the requirements. I for one am proud to be able to bring the Scouts to where I work and more than one Scout has asked me what is necessary to become a chemist. I’m glad that others find an opportunity to assist the Boy Scouts in this way.

Robert J. McMillin

As a scoutmaster, I really appreciate any and all professionals willing to make an investment in the development of Scouts as they work through advancement and explore areas outside their everyday interest. One never knows when you might just say the right words or show Scouts something new that later turns out to make a major impact on their lives.

Jim Noffsinger

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