An experienced and skilled chemist, Ms. Sangji had in October 2008 safely and successfully performed the same experiment that went terribly awry two months later. Reed said Ms. Sangji’s laboratory notes were persuasive evidence of her skills: Each entry is detailed and complete, with the times, temperatures, calculations and volumes noted very carefully and consistently. Reed said the campus continues to believe that she was using an appropriate method, but the plunger on the syringe she was using came apart, spilling an air-sensitive chemical that ignited her clothing.Really? An "experienced and skilled" chemist? Time for one of my favorite questions: compared to what? According to whom? I find this to be a eyebrow raising assertion, especially since I have a difficult time pronouncing myself an "experienced and skilled" chemist. (Ph.D., ~10 years doing organic chemistry full time -- probably about 7 years more than Sheri Sangji.) Mr. Reed, am I an experienced chemist? Do you hand out certificates for your awards? May I have one?
Now we have a date on the last time she had done a tBuLi reaction (Oct. 2008), which means that it had been nearly 3 months before she had done one again.
I am also amused to learn that "the campus" believes that she was using an appropriate method. Really? Who is "the campus"? How did this syringe passively "come apart"? Are we asserting that the syringe was faulty?
Finally, it's clear that Vice Chancellor Reed has access to Ms. Sangji's notebook. Let us see if Mr. Reed is correct -- publish the notebook page of the fatal reaction. It's the only way to introduce facts (as opposed to assertions) about what she was doing that day.
This is the worst part of any case -- the lawyers have descended (or ascended, depending on where you think they're coming from and which analogy you're using...) If Kevin Reed is now making assertions about chemistry, I doubt we'll hear much from Prof. Harran. The "lawyering up", spinning and peeing in the jury pool has begun fulltime.