Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The last seminar you attended

[Mild applause]

Moderator: Thank you, Professor Jones, for a wonderful seminar on new techniques in nitrosation of aromatic compounds. And now, Professor Jones will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
  1. Professor Jones, could you go back to your section on the mechanism? [clickclickclickclickclick] Oh. [awkward pause] No question. 
  2. Professor Jones! So good to see you again! [Inside joke about conference 10 years ago]
  3. Is there going to be wine afterwards? Yes? Thanks. 
  4. [throat clearing] Dr. Zhervokvsky at Soviet Institute of Chemistry showed in Archives of Soviet Industrial Chemistry in 1962 all your work forty years ago -- maybe you should educate yourself in his work!
  5. I see in the NMR that you showed on slide 23 that there were some small peaks at 8.1 ppm. Do you know what that impurity is?
  6. This reminds me of the time that I was talking to [questioner's famous graduate adviser] and he said that [really, really, really, really long pointless anecdote about nitric acid]. Well, I didn't have a question, I just was reminiscing. 
  7. Do you think a kinetic isotope experiment would be useful for the reaction on slide 15? 
  8. The yield in that one reaction was kind of low, wasn't it? 
  9. Ah, ah, ah, yes, Professor Jones. As you're well aware of Professor Takahashamata's work in [really obscure journal] and its application to [subject near and dear to questioner's heart, irrelevant to seminar], do you have any comment on that? 
  10.  (question no one can hear) (Highlight to read.)
  11. Will there be wine afterwards? Excellent.


  1. answer to question 10:

    'You mean the [topic of central importance to talk]? Yes. At least we think so. That will be an interesting hypothesis to test.'

    Note to speakers: always repeat the question so we know what the heck you're talking about!

  2. Thank you, chemjobber, for helping me figure out how to select text on my phone! The mechanism one really resonated :-)

  3. 'I noticed your alkene metathesis had a fairly poor yield; did you column your Grubbs catalyst before the reaction'?

  4. Ah bollocks. That should read:

    'Have you tried {insert incredibly specialised technique/reagent that only this questioner and 2 other people in the world have ever used}?'

  5. Unstable IsotopeJune 16, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    12. [Question that proves the questioner has no clue what the seminar was about.]