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Providing Clarification

August 18, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 33

Two articles in the June 9 issue of C&EN deserve comment. First, the picture of Texas Tech University graduate student Wei Ma wearing eye protection perched at the end of her nose is hardly a testimonial to “ways to ensure safe work environments” (page 30). The device worn by Ma is clearly too large for her face, leaving her eyelids and eyes with little or no protection. Eye protection devices are not “one size fits all” any more than ordinary eyeglass frames are; such devices should be carefully fitted to the wearer.

Second, the repeated use of the slang terms “recipe” and “from scratch” in the TIC10 article in place of “experimental procedure” and “from alternative starting materials” really mischaracterizes the difficulty of working through a chemical problem such as this one (page 32). In fact, I have never heard a chemist use this kind of slang in ordinary conversation, let alone in published material. Finally, it is ridiculous to ascribe the initial incorrect structural assignment of TIC10 to “ditching the chemistry” in the course of the consolidation of pharma in the recent past. The incorrect structure was assigned by the respected Boehringer Ingelheim firm in 1973, decades before these job losses began.

Manfred E. Wolff
Laguna Beach, Calif.


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