Though Lake Michigan is quite beautiful, it’s pretty tough to appreciate the view when you’re in the back of a stalled bus in the middle of Lakeshore Drive. Luckily, it only took 15 minutes for a replacement bus to arrive…
Despite this minor setback, I made it to the conference center in time to see most of the symposium in honor of Dave Evans. Evans talked about a few recent total syntheses from his group, including Oasomycin A, which was recently completed (see also these two papers). He’s a great speaker who really holds your attention for the whole talk: he only discusses the most interesting reactions/transformations (and not every single step of the synthesis) and he uses some color (but not too much) to draw your attention to key atoms and/or newly formed bonds.
Later on in the afternoon, I made my way over to see Regan Thomson‘s talk on his recent synthesis of (+)-symbioimine. I really enjoyed his talk – I’ve known Regan for years and it’s always exciting to see people you know publish interesting work… But the chair of the session really didn’t bring her ‘A’ game today – she had trouble pronouncing his name (calling him ‘Dr. Thomas’ twice), fumbled through the word ‘osteoclastogenesis,’ and completely mis-pronounced the name of the molecule. OK – I agree that ‘osteoclastogenesis’ isn’t a very common word, but I think it’s pretty important to get the names of the people in your session correct. (Maybe I’m just overly sensitive about names, as so many people have trouble pronouncing mine…)
Well I’m bushed and it’s not even 10 PM – it’s amazing how exhausted you can get by running around from session to session… For those of you who are here in Chicago, how’s your meeting going? What session/talk/event has been the most enjoyable for you? What are you looking forward to seeing tomorrow?
Joshua Finkelstein (Senior Editor, Nature)