Sheri Sangji’s death from handling t-butyllithium improperly

Remember this story? Well, a verdict has finally been reached (about a week or so ago) on the sentencing of Professor Harran (the PI who Sheri Sangji was working under) and his role in Sangji’s death. But first, here’s a well-spoken blog by Deborah Blum in regards to the whole situation: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/07/sangji-chemistry-death-ucla/

And the updated news about the verdict can be found here: http://cen.acs.org/articles/90/i32/University-California-Reaches-Agreement-Connection.html

Do you think Dr. Harran should be held responsible (if at all) for Sangji’s death? There’s been opinionated feedback and comments on how this situation should be dealt with. Many believe that, with the pyrophoric chemical that she was working with (t-butyllithium), she should have taken better precautions (such as PPE, which she was not equipped with), and probably should have handled the chemical while supervised (as she had only done it successfully once before). There’s also been debate about whether she had received proper training in t-butyllithium (which she did not), and whether she received general training for safely handling chemicals at all. There are many steps that could have been taken to prevent her death; Chemjobber does a great job in blogging about them in his entry: http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/2009/05/if-i-were-working-with-tert.html

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