Just a quick postlett to let those of you not at the ACS in San Francisco that La Clair got through his talk without a single question about hexacyclinol. Interesting. I’m not there either, but my informant quotes:
“I sat in on the LaClair lecture, and it was poised for big news. Seriously, it got very busy. I played safe and stayed in the lecture theatre 40 minutes before it was due to start, sitting through two distinctly average lectures from the Trauner group. I’m glad I did though, seriously, they were queuing up outside come 3:20.
Sadly it didn’t live up to expectations. His title was “Application of total synthesis to probe biological systems”, but basically, it seemed to be a completely biological talk about attaching fluorescent tags to molecules, without a single synthetic arrow in the damn talk. This is somehow in the “Total synthesis of complex molecules” section. No-one took a chance to ask a question (there was time for one quick one), partly out of embarrassment, and partly because we’d been bombarded with so much biology that anyone could think of a polite way of saying “yeah, well hexacyclinol, you didn’t really make it did you?”. He made two nods to hexacyclinol. He started by saying some bullshit about Xenobe, and how it is a virtual research lab, and how he’s going to remake it and put stuff up about it in a year’s time, and also he concluded the acknowledgements with a picture of the T-shirt with “Hexacyclinol – the proof is in the synthesis” (or whatever that slogan is).
So sorry, but there weren’t much newsworthy there. I was even stalking him afterwards for a few minutes in case anyone decided to start having a go at him, but the nearest anyone got to it was to get their picture taken with him. I felt sorry for the person after him, the room pretty much cleared after it was over. The chair tried to start the next talk, but there were so many people still leaving he stopped.
Not really what I’d hoped for. I wanted a big one with conspiracy theories, and raging arguments and contentious questions asked. Or at the very least, bearing in mind the fact it was a total synthesis section, a few synthesis steps would have been nice.”
My informant shall remain unnamed for now…