Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 4 of the #SheriSangi preliminary hearing

Jyllian Kemsley and Michael Torrice have written up their notes from Day 4 of the preliminary hearings, which included Brian Baudendistel's partial cross-examination by Professor Harran's defense attorney, Thomas O'Brien:
O’Brien: Are you aware that the standards of care for safety in academic laboratories differ from the standard of care in industrial laboratories?
Baudendistel: I don’t agree with that.
O’Brien: You’re not aware of that, sir?
Baudendistel: I think there is a difference in universities’ compliance with applicable regulations, so in that sense, yes. Is there an accepted difference? I don’t agree with that.
O’Brien: Do you agree that there’s a difference in how safety is conducted in academic universities versus safety conducted in industrial universities?
Baudendistel: Industrial universities…
O’Brien: I’m sorry, industrial laboratories.
Baudendistel: I think that there is less compliance with applicable regulations in the university setting as there is in industry.
O’Brien: Would you agree that there is a difference also in how employees are trained in terms of academic university lab workers versus industrial laboratories?
Baudendistel: Yes.
O’Brien: Would you agree that in industry employees are trained at a much higher standard?
Baudendistel: Yes.
If you read the whole thing, you can get to Mr. O'Brien's attempt to get Ms. Sangji's undergraduate education (classes, etc.) as training towards laboratory safety. (I think.) I think December 17 and December 18 are going to be very interesting days...

More in the morning.


  1. I can't see how a judge or jury will be sympathetic to Harran on this argument. But, I suppose we'll see. The public's general distrust of "chemistry and chemicals" (even while they trust chemists) doesn't bode well for the defense.

  2. if I was on the jury I would be sympathetic to Harran.

  3. It is hard to belive this guy is still employed by UCLA and they are using university (and ultimately taxpayer's) money to pay his lawyers.

    What kind of training would students in his group receive anyway?

    1. Thank you Chemjobber. Keep up the good work. From a lab and chemical safety and compliance nag at Purdue, who has a PhD in CHM (organic R. Benkeser, 1989) and who has worked with alkyllithiums, although I think not tBuLi. I am sympathetic only so far as sorry Harran is the one being crucified. It's got to stop, the dismissal of proper safety training and protocols as something there is not time nor need to do in academia. After reading the transcript it's hard to be sympathetic at all.