In the typical small molecule synthesis lab today, almost everything but the actual synthesis is handled by robots or machines. Why can’t a robot go to the chem storage room, draw up exactly 19.01 mL of 1.52M n-BuLi (freshly titrated by another robot!) in a syringe, roll over to the fume hood and inject it to the reaction mixture, at such a rate that the internal temperature (which we rarely ever measure anyway) never goes above -68 ºC. And so on.
How come the Industrial Revolution has not yet sunk its rotten teeth into organic synthesis? We should be grateful, of course, but… is it avoidable?
In the mean-time, brothers and sisters, prepare yourselves for the worst! This book is highly relevant: “How to survive a robot uprising”
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