Tagged: Santa

Dear Santa – a letter from a chemist


Dear Santa, 

it’s me. Again, and again from the same lab of last year. You should remember me from last year, I don’t think that many people asked for UPLC as Xmas present. Also this year was not the best one, I didn’t publish that much, but it was not only my fault. Many many things are going wrong in science (and the fact that I’m writing you it’s a perfect example). That’s my second year in the limbo that many people call postdoc.
Anyway I did my best to be as good as possible during this year. I didn’t yell too much at the other people in the lab, and I tried to curse as less as possible (but you know, working in a chemistry lab is not the perfect environment for a “Sir behavior”). Unfortunately there are still a lot of people that cannot understand sarcasm, and that’s not my fault. I cannot really do much on this point. I’m not mean for being mean, it’s just for the sake of fun.


Hopefully I have been good enough for asking you some presents:

– A new HPLC (possibly a working one) will be a great gift and in the same time it will drastically decrease  the amount of instrument-booking related swears.

– I would like to have an NMR-tubes-tree. New NMR tubes growing every night. And maybe a bush of magnetic stirrers. 

– You have thousand of Elves, do you mind if I take one for doing my syntheses?

– Can you please tell authors and referee to be more precise when they write the experimental section? If something is already published I should just repeat it and not losing ages for improving the synthesis.

– If you can magically synthesize a couple of grams of my VS092 reaction it will be great. Please carry out also the elemental analysis that it’s still missing. 

– Please stop student asking stupid questions. It’s ok asking questions, but they should be at least related with the discussion.

– Can you to keep our group meeting below the 120 min, sometimes it’s hard, really really hard.

– Can you also reduce the number of paper published each day? I understand that “publish or perish” stuff, but we are exaggerating. I cannot really screen every day for hundreds of papers. I know that you have quite a lot of Elves working for you, but I’m alone here with my RSS feeder. 

– Reducing the amount of comic sans in the presentation would be also useful. Moreover can you explain the speaker that they don’t have to do anything else than explain: Why/What/How they are carrying their research, nothing else. Please explain them that I don’t need to see all their NMR spectra from long long ago.

– Sort out all this Impact Factor, Hirsch Index, Open Access stuff. It’s getting crazy down here. 

– It would be nice if you can exchange a couple of words with the grant holders. Can you show them that it’s meaningless setting up timeframes and milestones in a time frame of 5 years. I even don’t know if my reaction of tomorrow is going to work or not…. 

– If you can talk with referees as well… Just ask them to be fair. Nothing else, just fair.


I know maybe these are too many request for a grown up (or at least I should be a grown up). No hard feeling if you don’t’ feel like bringing all these present, but If you are passing by the chemistry lab:
can you please please please please……..

…..CLEAN MY FUMEHOOD (and maybe my bench/desk as well).


Best wishes