A couple of decades ago most chemists could be assured that if they did a good job in the research organization of a profitable company they could look forward to continued employment until nor mal retirement age. Nowadays that is no longer the case. In scores of situations in recent years—involving companies as diverse as du Pont, Stauffer and Gulf—large chunks of research laboratories, or even whole labs, have been wiped out, and experienced researchers have been terminated or forced into early retirement.

It's extremely difficult for scientists in their 40s and older to find places in another research organization. So more and more individuals have been forced to try their hand at something else or, if they want to stay in chemistry, to be come consultants in hopes of augmenting their diminished incomes. This is not easy even when the employers help their cast-offs get started. However, forming or...

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