About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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October 10, 2013

Cambridge Meetup Final Plans: Noon by Broad Canal Way

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Posted by Derek

OK, after investigating several options, I think that we'll stick with the courtyard down by the kayaks/parking kiosk on Broad Canal Way. It'll be a bit on the cool and cloudy side, but it is October. I'll be there at noon, and everyone should just round up whatever lunch they like and bring it along with them. Looking forward to seeing what sort of crowd turns up!

Comments (20) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blog Housekeeping


1. JB on October 10, 2013 11:29 AM writes...

Live blogging! About 35-40 people- MIT, epizyme, constellation, Broad, C&E news

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2. Mary W on October 10, 2013 11:50 AM writes...

Keep it going, JB!

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3. JB on October 10, 2013 12:26 PM writes...

Well, I'll just say that either the negative subset of people who comment didn't show up or that people are much nicer and politer in person.

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4. Semichemist on October 10, 2013 1:01 PM writes...

I think that without the safety net of internet anonymity people are generally a lot nicer. You're a lot less likely to insult someone when there's a very real chance of getting your ass kicked.

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5. JB on October 10, 2013 1:06 PM writes...

Also noted, about 90% men (I think 4 women out of ~40?)

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6. annon on October 10, 2013 1:49 PM writes...

Good luck with this....a pilgrimage for self-honoring of DL.

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7. Truckin' on October 10, 2013 2:58 PM writes...

I hope somebody offered to buy DL's lunch. It's the least we can do for all the effort he puts into keeping us informed and entertained.

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8. Anonymous on October 10, 2013 3:59 PM writes...

I hope you guys had a chat about the latest "Alzheimer cure" which totally dominated British media outlets (no idea about US coverage):

Such a perfect example of super-hyping of the essentially dead end approach - as the original GSK papers about this kinase inhibitor and its on-target effects can testify.

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9. Luigi on October 10, 2013 5:09 PM writes...

@8 Anon. Well said - I hope the ACTING Head of Chemistry at KCL was either misquoted or is suitably and utterly embarrassed by providing this - ‘This finding, I suspect, will be judged by history as a turning point in the search for medicines to control and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.’ Oh yeah in a prion mouse model? Utter crap.

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10. O-Chem on October 10, 2013 5:17 PM writes...

Anon8, coincidentally I listened to a lot of that on NPR on the way to lunch.

Decent turnout. Unfortunately, I was somewhat late to the gathering and groups had already formed so I didn't get to talk to as many people as I hoped. The people I did talk to were very polite and engaging. I'm hoping we can do this again sometime, maybe in the spring when the weather clears up.

Most surprising? Derek's accent. I know the bio says he's an Arkansas native, but that never comes through in the writing. Very noticeable in person.

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11. Anonymous on October 10, 2013 8:56 PM writes...

I am the Wuxi guy and stayed about 10 feet away from the big group, afraid of having my ass kicked. But happy to see everyone in good spirit.

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12. Lyle Langley on October 11, 2013 8:57 AM writes...


Yes, at a meeting of chemists, I'm sure everyone is worried about getting their asses kicked. I remember seeing roving gangs at the most recent ACS meeting and would never make eye contact out of fear.

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13. Walter White on October 11, 2013 9:28 AM writes...

You talkin' to me?

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14. watcher on October 11, 2013 10:21 AM writes...

re #10: How is someone with a regional accent who is educated supposed to write? Idiotic comment.

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15. okemist on October 11, 2013 12:38 PM writes...

I worked with DL for 10 years and have lived all this country and I would never categorize him as having a 'regional accent'. I second 14.

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16. Curt F. on October 11, 2013 12:38 PM writes...

Thanks to Derek for hosting / convening the lunch. It was a lot of fun! Derek comes across as just as good-natured and articulate in person as he does on the blog.

Definitely agreed that people seem nicer in real life than on the internet. I kept on wanting to ask people what their commenting handle was but it felt a bit untoward asking a stranger to de-anonymize themselves so I didn't.

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17. Derek Lowe on October 11, 2013 12:47 PM writes...

Compared to the Boston-area baseline, I probably sound pretty regional! I know I did when I worked in New Jersey. (Of course, most of the people working in biopharma around here are from somewhere else, anyway).

My Southern accent has diluted over the years, but people in the Northeast can immediately pick me out as someone who's "not from around here". By this point, though, so would people in Arkansas. As for it coming across in writing, unless I were to drop a "y'all" in there once in a while, there's not much chance of it showing up.

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18. annon on October 11, 2013 2:49 PM writes...

Agree with 14. I'm from Southwestern Missouri, and have lived in the Northeast for over 30 years. I never carried the slight southern drawl that many people from my hometown had. But people in the areas where I've lived can tell I'm not a local-born. When they try to guess, they often will think I'm from NY, or Ohio, or maybe Chicago (where I did live for a short time). But how can anyone know if there is an accent, or what flavor it might be (southern, NJ shore, east Boston, etc) by how I write?

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19. svi on October 13, 2013 10:27 PM writes...

I skip reading for a couple of days, and miss this! The death of google reader is still reverberating.

I hope the meetup was a success, will there be another one?

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20. souls_at_zero on October 14, 2013 8:10 PM writes...


Derek recently posted about Google Reader alternatives here, with positive words towards NewsBlur.

I jumped onto The Old Reader a week or two before Google Reader went under, and remain a satisfied customer.

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