I was very proud of Phil & Donna, and the Scripps community today, for their thoughtful counterpoint to the alarming recently-published essay about the field of organic synthesis. It makes me happy to see my mentors stand up for what's right.
And so, I was a bit startled, and more than a bit upset, when my inbox started filling with notes making accusations that this thoughtful counter-essay amounted to nothing more than 'hypocrisy.'
A verbatim text message I received: "How can a slave-driver like Phil Baran be hypocritical enough to condemn slave-driving in an essay, while simultaneously doing exactly that in his own lab?"
This kills me, because it's so far from the truth. Openflask was created to give behind the scenes into our lab, so here it is: Our lab is a pretty nice, chill place to work. We're not slave driven. We work hard when we feel like it, and slack off when we feel like it.
Don't believe me? Here are some emails from the boss (highlighting my own for emphasis):
Was the lab always like this? Probably not. Does it mean we're "going soft?" Almost certainly. Do we still seem to be cranking out papers, and having a happy, healthy time doing so? Yup. I'll take the softness.
As it turns out, I know Phil will too: