The formula for a good workplace: a product to be proud of, appreciative management, and trustworthy colleagues. That's the opinion of surveyed readers for The Scientist's annual survey, detailed in the article The Best Place to Work in Industry appearing in the June 21, 2004 issue of The Scientist.

To find out what scientists think about their companies, The Scientist invited its readers to participate in the survey, garnering responses from working industry scientists in the USA, Canada, and western Europe.

Pride Trumps Compensation
The Scientist asked employees from life science corporations to evaluate their own workplaces and identify company characteristics they consider important. Seven of the top 10 factors identified relate to pride, teamwork and integrity, while only two were benefit related, neither regarding salary.

1. Pride in what's produce
2. Team works well together
3. Colleagues do a professional job
4. Company has ethical standards

"People have to feel welcomed, they have to feel valued and they have to enjoy the work," says Ron Webb, doctorial recruiting and university relations manager at #2 ranked Proctor & Gamble.

Top Ranking Companies
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a subsidiary of DuPont, who took the number one spot among large companies for the second year in a row, offers alternatives such as flextime, alternate work locations and job sharing. While #9 AstraZeneca provides onsite services such as a post office, dry cleaning, and convenience store.

The top ten large* companies for scientists:
1. Pioneer Hi-Bred
2. Proctor & Gamble
3. Genetech
4. Phizer
5. Amgen
6. Aventis
7. Johnson & Johnson
8. Abbott Laboratories
9. AstraZeneca
10. Eli Lilly
*Highest scoring companies with 5000 or more employees

With just 14 employees, OpenEye Scientific Software offers an great intimate environment. "There's a lot of flexibility," says George Vacek, vice president of strategic development. "If employees have a big idea, they can chase it," he adds. Diversa, the #2 ranked small company for scientists, counts infrastructure as one of its strengths along with management support and 'extra' benefits.

The top ten small* companies for scientists:
1. OpenEye Scientific Software
2. Diversa
3. Infinity Pharmaceuticals
4. Asterand
5. Lexicon Genetics
6. TransForm Pharmaceuticals
7. Tec Laboratories Inc.
8. BD Biosciences
9. Promega
10. Invitrogen
* Highest scoring companies with less than 5000 employees

For full text of the article, log onto our website: The publisher can be reached directly: Alexander Grimwade (

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