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The chemists are coming

With jobs scarcer than ever before, more chemists are moving into life sciences

Alison McCook(abmccook@yahoo.com)

NEW YORK—Biologists will have to make room on their benches, if they haven't already, because more and more chemists are entering careers in life sciences, a panel of experts said Monday (September 8) at the American Chemical Society's 226th National Meeting. With unemployment in chemistry at an all-time high, chemists are increasingly turning to industries in the life sciences, such as pharmaceuticals, less hard-hit by the current economic woes.

As a result, chemists and biologists may have to work together more than ever before, said American Chemical Society (ACS) president elect Charles P. Casey. "Biology is increasingly becoming a chemical science, and chemistry is increasingly becoming a biological science," he noted.

In his opening remarks, Casey said that recent mergers and acquisitions among chemical and petrochemical companies have led to downsizing and fewer traditional jobs for chemists. In fact, employment among chemists is the weakest it has been since...

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