The 41st National Organic Symposium starts 7 June, 2009, in Boulder at the CU campus. I’m trying to decide if I want to go bad enough to pay the admission price.  The registration is rather pricey- $400-425, depending on your membership status. The symposium features a lineup of some of organic chemistry’s top rock stars and illuminati.

The whole fandango begins with a homily by Bobby Grubbs on what else? Metathesis. Good lord. I don’t think I can bear to see it again. I wonder if he’ll disclose the patented art during his talk? (These guys never point out that the cool and useful stuff is tied up in claims!)

I popped into a few web sites of the various rock stars who will be presenting. I noticed that Dale Boger is selling his lecture notes on-line for US$120 for a CD.  Fancy that.

Apparently, he is still working on Vinca alkaloids. Buried in the Boger website is a graphic showing the various and complex compounds that his groups have prepared. It is pretty amazing, really. But it is as much an indication of what generous funding and hordes of rabid post-docs and grad students can provide as anything else. Boger is listed as an inventor on 25 US patents (with Scripps as assignee) by my count. Scripps owns a bunch of Boger technology. I wonder if any of it is commercialized? I don’t know the guy, so I don’t want to be too obnoxious here.

If an advisor is patenting the work that a student is doing for her/his dissertation, how do they manage the notebooks (i.e., disclosures) and the meetings with the students committee? If the student is helping to develop IP for someone else, are they decently paid for it? Does the student have multiple notebooks for confidential and “public domain” work? What kinds of liability does a student have in terms of proprietary information after they graduate? Lots of sticky issues for a fresh graduate.

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