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June 3, 2009
Not much time for a post this morning, so I'll throw out a few questions for the readership. Feel free to answer any, all, or none:
1. Does it bother you, or by contrast make you a bit proud, when you tell someone that you're a chemist and (as happens in about seven out of ten cases) they say "Oh, that was my hardest/least favorite/most boring subject when I was in school"?
2. How many thousands (10s, 100s of thousands) of dollars of unused equipment is sitting in dusty, unused storerooms at your company, because someone ordered it years ago and either (1) never got it to work, (2) was the only person ever to get it to work, or (3) found that it worked, but what it did wasn't worth doing that way?
3. Have you ever set up a reaction and thought "Boy, I sure hope that this doesn't work"?
4. For the drug discovery people out there, what per cent of compounds you've made over the years would you guess dissolve in plain water to any real extent? Is that figure going up, or down?
5. What, off the top of your head, would you say in retrospect is the most time-wasting chemistry you've ever ended up doing?
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