Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dave Collum is The Voice of a Generation

"You never want to solve a problem. Just keep making excellent progress."
     - Dave Collum

It's been a busy month in the Baran lab, and the blog has been neglected, so while my column fractions concentrate down, I figure I might as well profess my love for Dave Collum. What makes the man so great? Read this paper, and you will understand (1). He once (almost certainly more than once) said that if there was one paper he's published that organic chemists should read, it is that one. I have read it, and I am now a better man for it.

"Who funds this $hit?"
     - Dave Collum

Dave Collum has a Twitter account. Not like how ESPN has a Twitter account. More like Kenny Powers has a Twitter account. Here is what Dave Collum has to say about the world:

Oh, did you say something? I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of Dave Collum being awesome. Did you notice how that's all from the last 24 hours? Also, @DavidBCollum, we can totally relate to the white powder in a plastic bag - 500 g of stevioside looks the same as 500 g of all other white powders.

"I'll tell you how to write a proposal that will fund this $hit."
     - Dave Collum

Dave Collum, for all his jokes, is an excellent scientist. His philosophy, as best I can tell, is, "do good science and learn something". He is such an excellent scientist, in fact, that he has a whole lecture on how YOU can be a good scientist (organic chemist, really). If you haven't seen it, take a look. I have taken a look, and I am now a better scientist for it. There are people here who keep it on their desks and refer back to it with reasonable frequency. Dave Collum also believes that one of the great mysteries of our time is, "why is there yellow fuzz on top of the column?" I too believe this is a great mystery.

(1) While you're at it, go take a look at Anne McNeil's Wikipedia project. And then edit some Wikipedia articles.

Dave Collum responds!


  1. I only discovered Dave Collum recently (I thought his mother liquor lecture was so good that I imitated it last week). Thanks for the heads up on the LDA paper.

  2. Dave Collum gives his epic "mother liquor" lecture (which I've seen, and is awesome), but what I'd really like to see his him teaming up with Tomas Hudlicky and give a lecture on why everyone else is doing chemistry wrong. Actually, maybe they wouldn't lecture, maybe they would show up on Harley Davidson's in leather jackets and start kicking ass and taking names. At least, that's what I imagine.

    But seriously, I like both of these guys. I would vote for them for president VP of organic chemistry.

  3. Is there any available youtube / dailymotion / something... video of this Mother Liquor lecture?

    1. Actually I am wondering this as well. The handout is a little bit of puzzling sometimes...

    2. I personally haven't seen one... but it might exist, I believe he gives the lecture all over.