1/19/2007

Rankings? We don't need your stinkin' rankings!

In light of ChemBark's recent post on rankings of chemistry departments, I thought I'd chime in with my thoughts on it. I actually posted this on the site but it didn't go through (?) so I'm posting it here, where it might. EDIT: It's on ChemBark now cause ChemBark thinks I'm a spammer or something. But that doesn't mean you can't B |_| Y V 1 @ G R A from me.

If I've learned anything about pop culture on my time here on earth, it is the following:

1. The people love a good countdown list;
2. I Love The 80's was the greatest show of all time.

Top 10 (20, 100, 500, million) lists of just about anything that is not completely objective will always remain controversial, and thus, people will talk about them, and people will watch/read the lists, generating more revenue for whoever wrote them up. It's a brilliant money-making scheme that gets people yelling at each other and at their TV sets. I mean hell, the other day I was reading Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums of ALL TIME and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper was #1??? That wasn't even their best album! Gimme a damn break!

But it works. US News and World Report hit a goldmine with their annual Pick Between Princeton, MIT and Harvard as the #1 School in the Country. Bragging rights for all. More bragging rights, more money. So in that time-honored tradition, I'd like to present to you Excimer's Top Three Chemistry Graduate programs (in order of ones I've gone to and whose programs I liked and find particularly good at training chemists):

1. Illinois
2. Illinois
3. Illinois

If you attend any of these schools, congratulations! You attend an Excimer-approved chemistry program and should feel proud. Now, feel free to argue away with my decisions. It took me months to gather the information and tools necessary to make such a countdown, and while I know it might be controversial, it's entirely objective! -to me.

Also, those of you who are frequent readers of ChemBark, what's up with Wolfie? Seriously.

12 comments:

Ψ*Ψ said...

What about warm, sunny places? If I were the one making the list, Illinois would be too freaking cold to be anywhere on it.

Paul said...

Hey Excimer...the post got picked up by the spam filter, twice. Not sure why, but I just cleared it.

Also, I totally agree that Illinois is a great school. It's one of the few schools that is strong across the board.

As for Wolfie, the thing that I find most odd about him is that he doesn't comment on other blogs. He obviously has a lot to say.

Mike said...

Trolls are entertaining. As Paul said, "every village needs an idiot".

My favourite university would be Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Second probably Stanford or Harvard, whereby I slightly prefer Stanford since they have a less complicated department structure, sunshine and close mountains. Keep in mind though: I'm a bio-chemist.

Ψ*Ψ said...

Stanford, I like. I'd be more inclined to apply for their Chem.E. program than straight Chemistry, though.

Mike said...

Do you like pipes and the Reynolds number? ;-)

Excimer said...

I am glad noone has objected to my suggestion that I Love the 80's is, in fact, that best TV show ever.

Noone has objected because IT'S TRUE.

Chemgeek said...

All we need is some sort of playoff system.

Then we'll know who the best is. Just like in college football... uh never mind....

Matt Jenks said...

Wait...what are we supposed to do? Get together and figure out who the two best schools are and then have them synthesize against one another? First team to epothilone wins?

Actually...that's not a half-bad idea.

Excimer said...

matt, shyeah. cause clearly the best schools for organic are the ones with the best total synthetic chemists (coughbullshitcough). besides, danishefsky's made more epothilone than everyone put together. if we're gonna do it, let's do amphotericin b. Cause noone at Illinois is working on that already. Nope. Not a one.

...

Matt Jenks said...

Yeah, but Taylor's synthesis of epothilone was shorter and higher overall yielding. Nyeh. Or, at least, it was. I don't know if he's done anything else with it since.

I guess we could go with the gold standard...make paclitaxel and THEN analyze it for purity, get an x-ray in the tubulin and see who can most quickly induce stabilization of the microtubules with it. And...uh...see how it gets trapped in a niobium oxide cage? Sorry, inorganics...I can't think of anything keen to pop in here.

Excimer said...

I hear Danishefsky's still got a number of people working on epothilones, so who knows. I'm not a total synthetic chemist by any means- this is just hearsay from other groups.

Matt Jenks said...

I wouldn't doubt it. It's still a pretty interesting molecule, and the analogues also look pretty good from the fighting cancer standpoint.