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Personal crisis: which direction to go?

  1. Feb 4, 2013 #1
    I am a chemistry student, currently in my final semester of my B.Sc. I need to figure out what I want to do; what to master in. I've taken all the introductory courses in chemistry, such as organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, bio-, environmental. I've also taken a course in applied organic spectroscopy, as well as some statistical courses (regression&data analysis, ANOVA II and experimental design) and some mathematics (calculus 1/2 and linear algebra and linear differential equations). In addition, the mandatory course which introduces philosophy, ethics and phil.of.science as well as a course called "causation in science".

    Now, the basis for my crisis, is a course called "Academic writing". I have to choose an article from my field, and write an expository article. It's not the writing, I love writing! I just can't seem to find an article I find truly interesting! I really liked the analytical chemistry course. And yet, I feel I know nothing! When searching up articles in analytical chemisty, half of the methods I don't know the principles behind, and the other half I haven't heard of. And I find it hard to be enthusiastic about the findings of certain heavy metals in drinking water in developing countries, or the testing of titanium dioxide solar photocatalysis, which I don't know how works. Basically, I know nothing, it feels!

    However, I really love chemistry. The inorganic chemistry course was much fun, and the lab exercises were great! So I've been thinking maybe inorganic analysis is the way to go. I got a job where I check the lab reports from those a year behind me, and the my lab teacher showed me the new ICP-MS machine, a new type (something about quadruple something-something) that we were the first one to get in the whole world. I'd like to know more about how different analytical methods work, and we did learn about a few in the analytical course, but I don't feel I know that much.

    I'm rambling! Does anyone have any advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2013 #2
    Hi, just take any chemical article from Nature or Science. They are all about breakthroughs.
  4. Feb 15, 2013 #3


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    Personally, I'm interested in the hydrogen economy and how hydrogen will be used in transportation and electric power generation. There is a lot of information on the net and on this forum discussing new developments and future prospects. You can discuss generation, storage, transportation, fuel cells, etc. Each of those subtopics have huge problems and huge opportunities, they are relevant for a number of reasons and easily researched and appreciated by most audiences.
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