It’s Probably a Good Time to Move On

April 1st, 2013

Over the weekend, I had some time to think about the last post and the purpose of this blog. Readers who have been following the comments will note that the kind of irresponsible discussion I was hoping to curtail has continued, but they will not know that I also received two rather long e-mails from chemists whom I respect that are less than pleased about the poaching gossip and a few of the other posts on ChemBark.

Of course, attracting the disdain of respected chemists is nothing new for this blog, but I think that I am growing less willing to fight the establishment as time goes on. A while ago, I discussed how running ChemBark might harm my chances of getting a job, and I am very fortunate to have been given such a great opportunity in St. Louis. Soon, the stakes will be even higher, as I’ll have to fight tooth and nail to win grants in a horrible environment for funding. It’s probably not wise for me to keep picking battles unrelated to my research. As a grad student and a postdoc, I had nothing to lose. Now, I think the situation is much different.

Also, as you have probably noticed, my frequency of posting has diminished. It’s less a function of not having interesting stuff to write about than the fact that I’ve got a lot of other things on my plate. All too often, blogging is what falls through the cracks. Frankly, I don’t know how Derek and Chemjobber manage to write multiple posts every single day. What they do is amazing.

Unfortunately, I think the situation for me is only going to get worse. For the rest of this year, I’ve got to wrap things up in California, move to St. Louis, start a new job, design two chemistry courses, start an entire research lab from scratch, plan a wedding, and get married. There’s a ton of stuff to get done, and only nine months to do it. Given my growing uneasiness about blogging, it’s probably best not to even pretend I can continue to maintain this site with any reasonable degree of quality.

So, I have made the difficult decision to discontinue blogging and shut down the site. I’m going to follow the precedents of the closures of The Chem Blog and Tenderbutton, by closing the blog to comments and archiving the old posts (so they are accessible for eternity). I’m not going to have the time to moderate comment spam, and the discussion usually trickles down to nothing after a post has been up for a week, anyway.

Thanks for reading and participating in the discussion for all of these years. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging about chemistry since 2005; it’s been a blast and the time has flown by. I will still follow all of the great chemistry discussion on Twitter and the blogosphere, so I’ll see you in the comments threads there. And if you ever find yourself visiting St. Louis, please drop me a note!

All the best,

21 Responses to “It’s Probably a Good Time to Move On”

  1. Paul Says:

    Update 1:40 PM

    OK, OK…UNCLE! Stop sending e-mails. This post was indeed an April Fools’ prank. I’m sorry to disappoint everyone, but I plan to continue blogging until I die next year. In fact, I’ve got some big plans for the blog this summer, so nothing could be further from the truth than my planning to shut down the site.

    Funnily enough, there are only two false pieces of information in this post. First, I have no plans to shut down the site. Second, I did not receive two disparaging e-mails from respectable chemists; the disparaging e-mails I typically receive are from chemists for whom I have no respect. Everything else is true.

    Sorry for pulling your leg, but every once in a while (1, 2), I feel compelled to celebrate the day.


  2. Chemjobber Says:

    Let the record be shown that I called it:

  3. The Aqueous Layer Says:

    I called it on Twitter long before you did, home-slice…

    ; )

  4. Paul Says:

    And thanks to everyone who made kind remarks about the blog on Twitter and In the Pipeline. It’s almost like I got to watch my own funeral.

  5. Dave Says:

    I was very worried about losing my Nobel odds fix

  6. Chemjobber Says:

    @TAL: So you were — well done!

  7. EC Says:

    Hehehehe nice prank!

    Although I have to say I was wondering if your academic career taking off would limit the extent of your blogging in some way. Guess not. You’re really one of a kind, Paul.

  8. a Says:

    My day has been brightened by this japerYOU BASTERD NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!

  9. Ian Tonks Says:

    “It’s almost like I got to watch my own funeral.”

    …a deliberate cry for help? Early separation anxiety from Caltech?

  10. eugene Says:

    I was hedging my bets when I read this one. Definitely thought of April Fools, but it was too convincing. Well done on that post. That’s why I try not to read English language news on April 1st. Now we can get back to insulting tenured professors as usual.

  11. Postdoc Says:

    Nice touch with disabling the comments Paul. I was super bummed that I just found your blog and then it ends!

  12. @SuperScienceGrl Says:

    You old dog! We were genuinely mourning your demise :)

  13. wolfie Says:

    I’ve been there, at St. Louis, once in my lifetime. I was proud to see some Bavarians drinking beer just like – myself.

    Il resto – il resto non dico.

  14. wolfie Says:

    And why not trying S2N2C4H4 there in St Loius ? Have you become crazy ? Is it notz enough that I am ?

  15. wolfie Says:

    It was’nt a joke…

  16. wolfie Says:

    “within the exclusive purview of chemistry” ????

    isn’ t this a little too arrogant ? or exclusive ??


  17. wolfie Says:

    Look, it is so easy. Take some clay, a few chemicals and then wait 4 billion years. Plus, have Jupiter to fish out the great asteroids. And out comes ?


  18. Kumar Says:

    This was disheartening even when i had taken all precautions for not to be april-fooled. :D. you are such a great writer, pls never stop it. Chemistry needs people like you to reflect some life upon it. 😉

  19. OSN Says:

    Testing on iPhone 4. Looks good to me!

  20. wolfie Says:

    However, I remember that I have been baptized in a church of St. Ludwig by some uncle Franz, several decades ago. You don’t believe it ?

    Show you my birth certificate, occasionally…..

  21. While I Was Out… | Chemtips Says:

    […] Practical jokes aside, Chembark is outfitting his new lab.  He asked the community for advice on finding discounted lab supplies, and the resulting discussion has created a wonderful resource. […]

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