Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What was David Snyder doing?

Jyllian Kemsley is covering this interesting case on the UC Davis campus:
That “‘small chemical explosion’ in a UC Davis student housing complex” wasn’t meth. The university researcher who set off the explosion, 32-year-old Ph.D. chemist David Snyder, was arrested over the weekend on explosives and firearms possession charges.
Literature searches indicate that Dr. Snyder is a synthetic chemist, with a patent and a J. Med. Chem. paper to his name (and also a regional ACS conference poster.) He's apparently a postdoc, if you look at California state employee records.

I don't know what he was up to, and I don't care to speculate very much, other than to say this: if one were going to be experimenting on explosive compounds, it would seem wise to do it in a laboratory, where requisite safety equipment is. (Throwing aside, of course, that you would be risking your labmates' life as well as your own.) As I said on Twitter, most people in the lab don't really pay attention to what other people are up to in their hoods (even when they should be.)

I guess I'll be following this story, too. 


  1. It's a strange story. I wonder what the heck this guy was thinking.

  2. Yes, why would he be making meth in a housing complex. I am sure you can easily make a pound a month in a hood and no one would ever notice.

  3. Well he has a LinkedIn profile, and has been endorsed for Narcotics!

  4. Does anyone else think that the whole 'endorsement' thing on LinkedIn is pretty idiotic? I've got people endorsing me that I haven't worked with in over a decade.

    1. Pretty much. It has about as much meaning as a Facebook "like."

    2. I think people do it as a way to bump up their profile or something. One of those bogus LinkedIn things that says "You need to do ____ to have a 100% complete profile!" It also puts you right at the top of the recent activity tag by just clicking a button. I've had people who never worked in lab with me endorse some of my lab skills.

  5. There is no reason to take dangerous chemicals out of the lab and into your house unless you plan on doing something illegal.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20