I'm a geochemist. In the past ten years I've fixed mass spectrometers, blasted sapphires with a laser beam, explored for uranium in a nature reserve, and measured growth patterns in fish ears, and helped design the next generation of the world's most advanced ion probe. My main interest is in-situ mass spectrometry, but I have a soft spot in my heart for thermodynamics, drillers, and cosmochemistry.
Rio Tinto is letting go 14,000 people in an attempt to reduce debt and react to rapidly deteriorating market conditions. This is:
-60% of the population of Alice Springs.
-20% more than the entire attendance of next week's AGU meeting.
-One person per month since the reign of Charlemagne.