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May
10

Repurposing medicinal chemists…to clean up chemistry databases

Late last year around the time of the ACS conference in Boston I was mulling what could be done with all the chemists being laid off by pharma.
One thought was one of the non profits working on neglected diseases could put them to work. But I hear you say well EVERYONE is outsourcing chemistry etc to China just look at the TB Alliance.

Now I have an additional suggestion. Perhaps the NIH could create a task force to clean up by manual and automated methods all of their databases. And I mean all of them.
Let’s start with NCGC dataset I have blogged about previously with
plenty of compounds to go around.
As the ACS promoted outsourcing of pharmaceutical chemical synthesis to China and India for years in C & E News perhaps they could sponsor this! It my foster some goodwill all around.

Perhaps this goes some way to solving the problem. Am I being repetitive, maybe but by phrasing it in a different context the problem creates a solution for putting Chemists in America back to work albeit for a short time while someone thinks of a longer term solution.

2 comments

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  1. Antony Williams, ChemConnector says:

    I am in the middle of writing a number of books and I know that many chemists who find themselves “ungainfully unemployed” are desperately searching for jobs. Yet, they find time to write! Not only book chapters but papers. They are INTERESTED parties. They are skilled, and able. They would be great people to get involved with validating data!!!!

    This process is, of course, already underway on ChemSpider where we have many scientists contributing to the clean up of data. We enabled a crowdsourcing platform for data clean up since very early in the project and have had 10s of 1000s of curation actions made to the database since then. It continues every day. Add to that the crowdsourced depositions of structures and spectra that we get and I’d say this is a model in action! Of course…if there are more willing hands we’d be more that willing to have them engage with us. Work is presently underway to produce a whole series of training materials to teach people how to curate and validate data in ChemSPider. Watch for the videos when they make it to YouTube in the very near future.

  2. Robert Nigel Slinn says:

    It could work well in UK and US for Chemspider 🙂

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