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comment by Devac
Devac  ·  305 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 25, 2021

New team! It's nice to be around people capable of mutual respect.

Having background in chemistry is like a physics super-power at times, and vice versa. Being a theorist with first-hand experience in metaloorganics synthesis is apparently on par with being a Jedi. Finding a polite, accepted by peers and seniors alike, way of saying "this is pretty much a secondment on top of my research, just because I can make the beakers dance doesn't mean I'll be pulling double shifts as a lab tech" is 10 times better than being a Jedi. Also, it's probably the only time when Thank you for arguing and similar worked instead of somehow even more aggrivating people into interpreting everything I say in the worst possible way and making me think "is this all bullshit or am I somehow THAT mindnumbingly bad with people?" Dunno which is a bigger step.

It's a lot of fun, though I also have a whole bunch to catch up on. There's a lot of bad stuff happening in Poland, so it's a great change of pace for once. And, hell, working in a chemistry lab is great if you're not working with assholes who think you're worth less than an automated dripper.

After I took the second opinion, I switched my psychiatrist. It's rare for me to 'click' with anyone, having such one person as a doctor is already hard to overstate.

goobster  ·  304 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ok, so this new job sounds pretty cool... but I know nothing about metaloorganics. So I looked it up, and ... still don't understand the application of these substances.

What are you working on in the lab? And why? I'd like to know more about what you are doing, and how it is practically applied.

Devac  ·  304 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Simplified/ELI15 ahead. Chemists: don't hate on me.

This project is about modeling a 'designer catalyst' that'll be enantioselective for specific synthesis. What's that? If you have a chiral compound (left or right-handed molecules with a mirror symmetry), unless we're talking about evolved mechanisms, when you synthesize it in the lab, it'll be a racemic mixture, 50:50 of left and right-handed enantiomers. Metaloorganics are great candidates for preferentially skewing a reaction towards one enantiomer over another, but their applications are much broader than that. Grignard reagent being one of the oldest flagship fussy ones. Seriously, after working with it a few times, I think it breaks down if you even mention water around it.

As to specific applications, though, I'm very lucky to be in a fairly basic research-focused environment. There's something on the funding application, I'm sure, and it is a fertile ground for pharmacological applications, but we kinda get to play around and look for commonalities in the mechanism. My job is part lab, part wrangling the math for simulations.

Apart from carbon-metal bonds, it has almost nothing to do with my cuprate superconductor stuff. Both are fun, tho!

goobster  ·  304 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That explanation does help! Thank you. Doing basic science is the kind of thing I wish I knew about/understood when I was looking at careers as a young person. Just pure science for the knowledge of it.

Thank you!

Devac  ·  304 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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