Buying Precious Metals, Safe Assets in Uncertain Times

Disclaimer: The author is not a financial advisor, etc.  The following brief discourse is simply the author’s thoughts and experiences after following the precious metals markets since 2008.  All readers must use their own discretion when making investments and they alone are responsible for the outcome of their own actions.

This is the first non-chemistry related blog post that I have written in a long time; however, it is very prescient in context to the present time.  In 2008 I was driving along the Lee Highway to northern VA.  For some time I had been hearing various commercials on the radio regarding buying gold.  More or less I paid little heed to them.  Truth be told I always loved silver, mainly because of its appearance but also because I was exposed to its compounds as a young chemist.  I also liked gold, especially the alloys that contain Cu commonly seen in jewelry from India.  Still I didn’t have any desire to buy either one although I was open to the idea.  I think my being open to the idea was the result of an epiphany I had in 2005 when another chemist said something to the effect, “well, what about building seven?”  It took the blinders off my eyes because I, like the bulk of the American populous, was completely ignorant of the real world to the point that I didn’t even know simple facts. 

During this drive to the DC area despite having heard these commercials before a thought came into my mind and it told me to sell my mutual funds.  It also recommended I buy gold and silver.  This all transpired shortly before the 2008 crash and when I returned home I took a chance, something that didn’t seem to make any sense, and I followed the instructions I received.  Maybe only one month later the markets collapsed and I had averted a serious loss and I’m grateful to God for the advanced warning and advice.

Since then I have recommended that people consider the safe-haven that such metals offer.  Most who I have espoused this to have ignored the advice.  These are the very same people who I warned back in 2011 and onward that serious conflict would arise between the US, Russia, and China.  Now given the current environment, both geopolitical and also the financial sector (e.g., inflation, bubbles, free money), I can’t help but think that those very same people are now regretting the fact that they ignored my advice.

Over a period of almost 15 years I have learned quite a bit about this topic.  I am not going to discuss all of its intricacies in this posting but I will say that in my opinion everyone should have some physical gold and silver on hand at all times.  Should the reader have a desire to purchase metals I do have a recommendation of where to go and you can message me through the contact form (make sure to include your name and email address) and I will point you to a company that so far has been the absolute best to deal with out of a total of five that I have dealt with over the years.  I’m also willing to provide names of a few others that I have also had good experiences with as well.  Since I’m not paid to advertise for any of them I will not name them here.  I highly recommend the reader do their own digging to learn more about this sector because there is a lot of information freely available on the internet.

More Evidence of Living Aqueous Cationic Polymerization, 2-27-22

Previously it was mentioned on this website and on that iodine and potentially HI (amongst other initiators) appear to be capable of inducing the living polymerization of a variety of monomers.  Upon review of some data more evidence of the potential for the first truly living aqueous cationic polymerization have emerged (Table 1).  When polymerization has little chain transfer both the apparent and theoretical number average molecular weights (Table 1, entry 2) show little discrepancy.  Doubling of the reaction time leads to a doubling in polymer yield (Table 1, entry 5); however, the apparent molecular weight is lower than the theoretical.  These results indicate that the number of active species are preserved throughout polymerization even after very long reaction times (i.e., days) albeit there is some chain transfer that occurs.  As we mentioned earlier, a number of approaches can be used to help suppress the impact that such side reactions have and thus give rise to well-defined polymers.

Summary, 6th International Conference on Catalysis and Chemical Engineering. Dr. Lewis’ Talk on 2-24-22

As announced on, Dr. Lewis discussed a number of new research findings that he made at the 6th International Conference on Catalysis and Chemical Engineering.  He also chaired the session he spoke in.  The production of highly reactive polyisobutenes (HRPIBs) with an exo-olefinic end group content of 97% as made with the first truly recyclable initiator system was touched upon.  High recovery of spent Lewis acid (up to 100%) is a common trait and solventless polymerization can be employed at room temperature with good molecular weights and yields.  Unlike traditional Lewis acids (e.g., BF3), the one used by Lewis are not hazardous and do not require specialized equipment to handle them. 

Another topic that was covered is a unique processing method that allows for the solubilization of metal halides in aliphatic solvents.  Such solutions are highly effective in inducing the polymerization of olefins and further more are capable of controlled activity that allow their usage in neat monomer as well as at reaction temperatures as high as 50 °C.  The aqueous polymerization of alkenes using superacids generated in situ was also touched upon.  A potential replacement for MAO as developed by Lewis was mentioned in addition to a recapping of the results on the production of isobutene based polymers using heterogeneous initiators based on aluminoxanes.*

*A public disclosure of the unique activity of MAO supported on boric acid was made where it was suggested that such materials should be explored for use in coordination polymerization if they haven’t already been studied.

2-16-22 Update on Book Series Authored by Dr. S.P. Lewis

2022 should be an interesting year.  It is looking like printing of a series of books written by Dr. Lewis will begin before it concludes.  The main title is “Cationic Polymerizations Resource: Non-living Polymerization of Olefins.”  The work will be divided into a minimum of three volumes with an approximated page count of around 1,500 pages and 4,000 references.


One of the frustrating things about this field is that no book presents it in a manner such that any chemist can walk away with a good understanding of the topic.  This work differs greatly in that anyone with a basic understanding of chemistry can master the field after reading it.  You don’t have to have a polymer science degree or even a Ph.D. in chemistry to understand the material contained in these books.  At the same time this book series contains such a wealth of information that even those who have practiced this technique for many years can learn something new.  Updates on the generation of gallery proofs, final proofing, printing, etc. will be provided as things progress.

Aqueous Cationic Polymerizations Using Iodine and Related Initiator Systems

A little over five years ago, Dr. S.P. Lewis undertook a series of projects aimed at the green production of polymers by the cationic polymerization of olefins.  Lewis reduced to practice greater than twenty different polymerization systems, including four that operate in aqueous media.  The total number of aqueous cationic polymerization systems invented by Dr. Lewis are six in total (thus far).1  One such invention is briefly discussed below.  This system is unique compared to other aqueous polymerizations invented by Lewis in that it appears to have the potential to operate in a living manner.2

Elemental iodine was discovered to have the ability to induce the polymerization of olefins in water.  The two main olefins explored thus far (Table 1) are p-methoxystyrene (PMOS) and N-vinylcarbazole (NVC).  Indications are that other olefins (e.g., vinyl ethers) may be susceptible to polymerization under similar conditions.  The addition of salts to the aqueous phase appears to prolong polymerization.  Such salts can be a source of common ions (e.g., KI, [Bu4N]+I) if desired.  Polymerizations conducted in the presence of iodide salts maintain a purple/red color whereas those carried out in the present of chloride have more of an orange-yellow coloration (Figure 1).  Color is also dependent on the identity of the solvent (Figure 2).  The exact mechanism of these polymerizations has not been deduced; however, one that entails a cationic intermediate seems plausible given the increase in yield and molecular weight (MW) as the solvent polarity is raised.  Likewise, experiments show the standard inverse relationship between reaction T and MW.

Figure 1. Aqueous polymerization of PMOS using I2 in (left to right): CCl4 + KI, CH2Cl2 + KI, and CH2Cl2 + NaCl.
Figure 2. Aqueous polymerization of PMOS, furan, and ethyl vinyl ether using I2 in (left to right): PMOS + anisole + NaCl, PMOS + hexane + NaCl, furan + anisole + NaCl, and ethyl vinyl ether + anisole + NaCl.

Ring opening polymerization of heterocyclic monomers may also be feasible with similar initiator systems.  A cursory experiment using styrene oxide seemed to indicate that epoxides might be susceptible to polymerization under these conditions and there is a possibility that other heterocycles (e.g., cyclic siloxanes, aziridines, oxazolines) could show activity.  A partial list of such monomers is covered by Kubisa.3

Other possible initiators include HI and carbocation synthons whereas there is the potential for use of zinc and tin halides as coinitiators.  Many techniques as devised by the Higashimura group for living polymerization under anhydrous conditions (and others) should be explored in aqueous media.3  Thus, living aqueous cationic polymerization might be feasible using HI + I2 as an initiator system.

More information on these polymerization systems will be disclosed in the future on this website and at


Footnote 1. The mechanism of one of these systems has not been definitively proven to be cationic.

Footnote 2. Only preliminary experimentation has been conducted on this system and at this moment it cannot be said for certainty that the system can be made living.

Footnote 3. Cationic Polymerizations; Matyjaszewski, K., Ed.; Marcel Dekker, Inc.: New York,1996; pp 1-768.

Helpful Pointers for Successful Synthetic Chemistry, Lab Cleanliness

The tips below and many more are covered in greater detail in my book Cationic Polymerization Resource: Volume 1, Non-living Polymerizations of Olefins.  That work is finally nearing completion and once in print I will post a blog article about it.  Please note, many of these recommendations also apply to other segments of chemistry (e.g., analytical).

Having a Clean Work Environment

Cleanliness is probably one of the most overlooked factors that success or failure may hinge on in context to synthetic chemistry.  The following should be clean:

  1. All work surfaces {e.g., benchtop, chemical hood (walls, apron), metal scaffolding, and stirrer hotplates}.  This can be accomplished using a variety of methods like scrubbing with an abrasive pad and spray cleaner, solvents, etc.  Care must be taken if solvents are to be used as they can potentially damage the surface being cleaned in addition to causing bodily harm to the operator.  Unfortunately some residues will only be removed by using certain solvents as they are impervious to less aggressive cleaning solutions commonly used in the household.  If left unclean these surfaces can become sources of contamination even if they are not in direct contact with the system being studied as contaminates can enter by falling into it.  Furthermore, if you happen to have a spill and must recover the spilled material a clean work surface will reduce the likelihood of the reagent in question from being irreparably contaminated.  Sacrificial coverings can be used in certain instances (e.g., aluminum foil, freezer paper); however, most have poor chemical resistance and are not recommended.
  2. Glassware and all items that come into contact with reagents.  This author recommends the use of base and acid cleaning baths for glassware, metal spatulas, and other items that are resistant to this method of cleaning whenever possible.  Additional rinsing with deionized water is a good step when very minor contaminates might pose a problem.  Sometimes more aggressive cleaning solutions such as aqua regia or piranha solution might be required.  All of these methods present a risk to the chemist in that the solutions can easily cause bodily harm and thus they must be handled with proper technique and appropriate personal protective equipment.  Additionally, glass base baths can damage to certain items (e.g., glass filtration frits, NMR tubes, etc.) if they are immersed in the bath for prolonged periods of time.
  3. Syringes, needles, rubber turn over septa, PTFE stopcocks, and other delicate items.  Some items should only be cleaned with soap and water and/or with solvents.  They can be grouped into small glass or plastic containers fitted with a secure lid and soaked if desired.  This author has found that simply forcing a stream of solvent through and/or over the item in question typically will remove the bulk of chemical residue.  Careful use of ultrasonic cleaning baths provide another option.  This author does not have extensive experience using ultrasonic cleaning baths as many of the labs he worked in as a graduate student did not possess this item.  It would seem feasible that certain items needing to be cleaned could be placed within a small bottle or vial containing solvent, the container then being sealed, and finally immersed into the water bath of the ultrasonic cleaner.  Care should be exercised since pressure could build within the containing holding the solvent and cause it to rupture.
  4. Nonconsumable items with metal surfaces (e.g., spatulas) can be polished with mild abrasive pads/rags.  This generally will remove any oxides or residues that solvents cannot remove.  In certain instances the use of such abrasives are useful for cleaning porcelain and glass apparatuses but care must be taken to choose an abrasive that will not mar the surface of the item being cleaned.

Aqueous Polymerization of p-Hydroxystyrene and Related Monomers, 2/10/2020

Polymers based on p-hydroxystyrene (PHOS) are useful in electronics applications; however, the direct polymerization of this monomer by the cationic technique can be challenging.1  Our research group has discovered that heteropolyacids (HPAs) can effect the cationic polymerization of other olefins (e.g., p-methoxystyrene (PMOS)) to afford high MW polymers in water.  Phosphotungstic acid is one such acid which is preferred; however, other HPAs (e.g., 12-molybdophosphoric acid) can also be used.  The heteropolyacid solution is infinitely recyclable as it retains its activity indefinitely.  Using this methodology should allow for the production of poly(p-hydroxystyrene) as well as the production of copolymers containing this monomer.  An example of this approach is embodied in Scheme 1.

Scheme 1. Aqueous polymerization of p-hydroxystyrene and other olefins as induced by heteropolyacids.


(1) Satoh, H.; Kamigaito, M.; Sawamoto, M. Direct Synthesis of Amphiphilic Random and Block Copolymers of p-Hydroxystyrene and p-Methoxystyrene via Living Cationic Polymerization with BF3OEt2/ROH Systems Macromolecules 2000, 33,5830-5835.

University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 26 (New Information)


Over the past several years, this author has uncovered additional examples of where Dr. “Joseph P. Kennedy”, while at U. Akron and Standard Oil (i.e., Esso Corp.), has stolen inventions from other scientists in the polymer field.  Even more disturbing is the disinformation that he has promulgated in the chemical literature.  Due to other work, the author has not had time to update this blog series.  Prior to getting into new information, a brief recap of important findings detailed in the previous 25 parts of this blog series is provided.

Here are some of the main findings detailed in the parts 1-25.

  1. Dr. “Joseph P. Kennedy” has used no less than 5 different aliases over the past ~ 70 or so years.  It is this author’s belief that the “Kennedy” name is derived from the stolen identity of another individual who was Hungarian and that the true name of Dr. “J.P. Kennedy” will never be known.  IT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS TO THE READER THAT STOLEN IDENTITIES AND ALIASES ARE THE PERVIEW OF THE CRIMINAL.
  2. A concerted effort was made to prevent this author from uncovering additional information contained in Hungary and Canada about this individual.  This indicates the governments of these countries are hiding something significant about “Kennedy”.
  3. “Kennedy” purposefully falsified a lab accident form so that he would not be held responsible for an accident that almost permanently destroyed this author’s right hand.
  4. “Kennedy” ran an unsafe laboratory facility at U. Akron, operated improper chemical storage, and furthermore allowed dangerous handling techniques to be practiced in his group.  The former led to a severe explosion which almost killed this author whereas the latter resulted in permanent damage to this author’s lungs.
  5. “Kennedy” orchestrated an elaborate attempt to falsify research on Yb(OTf)3 coinitiated aqueous polymerization of isobutene (IB).  This led to the dismissal of this author from the “Kennedy” research group when the author refused to falsify data on “Kennedy’s” request.
  6. “Kennedy” has stolen ideas and theories for numerous students (e.g., this author, P.V. Kurian), other professors (e.g., Prof. Plesch, Prof. DeSimone), and professional chemists (e.g., Dr. Hansjorg Sinn, Dr. Ott).  As will be seen below, the extent of this stealing encompasses no less than 15-20 % (and probably much more) of all patents bearing the “Kennedy” name.

Many Unanswered Questions Remain

Much of this is touched upon in previous sections of this blog series, but it warrants being discussed a second time.  Is the individual, who has operated under false names for approximately 70 years, a victim of the Nazis?  My best guess is the answer is no, for several reasons.  First, we have conflicting information supplied by no other than “Kennedy” himself (see part 22 of this blog series) [1,2].  We are led to believe the Nazis killed his father and yet on the other hand we are led to believe that the Russians imprisoned his mother.  This begs the question, why didn’t the Nazis imprison both “Kennedy” and his mother, if indeed his father was an enemy of the Germans?  It is well-known that the Nazis were in the habit of removing entire families and not limiting their wrath to a single individual.  Anyone who has studied history also realizes that the main leaders of the Soviet Union were all Jewish and that they despised the Nazis.  So why would the Russians imprison his mother if indeed the “Kennedy” family were considered enemies of the Nazis?

From this, some very interesting questions emerge.  Was the imprisonment (if it indeed happened) of “Kennedy’s” mother because his father was a Nazi or a collaborator to them?  I suspected something was astray during my stint in the “Kennedy” lab when “Kennedy” said to Dr. S. Yankovski (in my presence), “You know Stas, Stalin wasn’t a bad guy, he did many good things.”1  I wondered, why someone would give praise to a mass murderer that made Hitler look minor by comparison?  Furthermore, if “Kennedy’s” mother was imprisoned by the Russians, why would he extol Stalin, the person who supposedly imprisoned her?  None of these facts made any sense.

While working in his lab, this author was curious as to if “Kennedy” was Jewish since he claimed to be a victim of the Nazis?  In order to shed light on this question I decided to do some probing.  While in a meeting with “Kennedy”, this author informed him that his grandfather always kept the “Sabbath” on Saturdays.  This was met with a, “What!” and the expression on “Kennedy’s” face was not one of joy.  So the author went no further with this test.  Then we have “Kennedy’s” own historical claiming him to be of bourgeois class and of modest financial background [1,2].2  This conflicts with his ability to pass through the iron curtain (from Hungary to Vienna), a wall so impervious that it held hundreds of millions of people captive in the Soviet system.  For those who don’t know, Austria was highly fortified to prevent any such influx of people from “Soviet” territories.  Instead, this latter fact implies that “Kennedy’s” family was quite wealthy and had significant contacts in countries formerly lorded over by the Nazis so that a combination of money and influence got him through an otherwise impenetrable wall.  It is interesting to note that “Kennedy”, despite being close to military age during the latter stages of WWII, apparently avoided both imprisonment by the Nazis and conscription into the Hungarian army, which fought as partners with the Nazis.  This again suggests that he was somehow quite affluent and well-connected to the Nazi party.

Several other unusual factoids exist.  First, “Kennedy” is quite fluent in German in both speech and reading.  None of the other Hungarian scientists that this author interacted with in “Kennedy’s” lab had fluency in the German language.  Second, someone with modest financial resources, such as “Kennedy” claims to be, would not have had access to the schooling needed to become fluent in a second language, especially technical German used in scientific papers.  Third, “Kennedy” supposedly worked for Hoechst Celanese, which was the largest of the companies that formed I.G. Farben, the chemical conglomerate that provided the lion’s share of money that got Hitler elected in Germany [3,4].  Why would someone who had been hurt by the Nazis be willing (and proud) to work for a company that was directly responsible for helping Hitler rise to power?  Fourth, “Kennedy” went to work for Standard Oil, another company that was directly tied to the Nazis, primarily via the I.G. Farben link.  During this time (at Standard Oil) he somehow was chosen to live in Japan and collaborate with scientists of the former Japanese Empire (and main partners to the Nazis).  These facts seem to indicate that “Kennedy” may have had some ties to the Nazi scientific community or their elite apparatus and definitely do not bode well for his story that his family was somehow victimized by the Germans during WWII.

Before concluding this section, I want to point out that I suspect the “Kennedy” narrative was concocted as a reverse projection technique in order to prevent people from learning the true history of this individual.  Reverse projection is a well-known method used by politicians, criminals, and in general, people who have a predilection towards psychopathic behavior.  It is meant to obfuscate the truth by making a guilty individual appear as if he/she is the victim of a crime that they actually perpetrated.  THE SAD TRUTH IS THIS.  SINCE THE ONLY FACTUAL DOCUMENTS WE HAVE ON THIS PERSON WERE SUPPLIED/FOUND BY THIS AUTHOR WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO FULLY DISCERN: WHO THIS PERSON IS, HOW EXTENSIVE HIS CRIMES ARE, AND PRECISELY WHY HE HAS BEEN PROTECTED FOR ALL THESE YEARS FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION!  In conclusion, this author cannot determine at this juncture as to what “Kennedy’s” ties (if any) are to the Nazis.  If indeed he is somehow a victim, it is this author’s opinion that “Kennedy’s” victimhood is more along the lines of a George Soros, a person who sold out his own people to the Nazis for material gain.

Some New Unpleasant Discoveries Concerning “Kennedy”

During the construction of this author’s textbook, the author continually kept coming across numerous instances where “Kennedy” had stolen ideas/inventions from others.  In addition, it became apparent that in many instances Dr. “Kennedy” hitched his wagon to leading scientists, who specialized in niche areas within the cationic polymerization community, in order to promulgate the myth that “Kennedy” was an all-knowing expert.  Below are provided only few examples of the treasure trove of intellectual thievery by Dr. “Kennedy”.

More Patents Stolen by “Kennedy”

By this author’s estimate, ~100 % of patents issued by Esso Corp. that list “Kennedy” as the sole inventor are stolen from other scientists.  Likewise, many publications and patents that came out while “Kennedy” was at U. Akron are in fact stolen from other researchers.  Below I list only a sampling of blatant examples of where “Kennedy” has stolen ideas from other chemists.

Stolen Patents on Terpenic Resins and Copolymers

As had been detailed earlier (see blog posting 21 of this series), when “Kennedy” went to U. Akron one of the first inventions he patented was on the copolymerization of β-pinene with isobutene [5,6].  The problem is that the work was nothing more than a carbon copy of copolymers made thirty years prior by none other than Emil Ott, an expert in the field of terpenic resins, among other topics [7].  Ott was prominent enough in the polymer field that he was eulogized by none other than Herman Mark [8].  Also mentioned in this previous blog posting, “Kennedy” touted his stolen invention as producing a novel copolymer that had unforeseen ozone resistance.  The only problem is that Ott recognized this as well in his original patent and the use of monomers that give rise to cyclic unsaturated repeat units (e.g., cyclopentadiene) for synthesis of ozone resistant copolymers of isobutene was well-known since the late 1940s [9-15].

During his research, this author uncovered an even more egregious example of “Kennedy’s” stealing, that of an invention by none other A.L. RummelsburgAnyone who has studied terpenic resins will be quite familiar with Rummelsburg as he was one of the most accomplished in the field.  In 1960, Rummelsburg patented the use of various alkylaluminum halides for the polymerization of β-pinene, one being EtAlCl2 [16].  In his patent, Rummelsburg made mention of the fact that such Lewis acids generated very high MW poly(β-pinene) that had not been obtainable with other chemical initiators.  In 1992, Keszler and “Kennedy” reported the “first” polymerization of β-pinene to high molecular polymer using EtAlCl2 [17].  Keszler and “Kennedy” never bothered to mention that Rummelsburg was the first to do this work.  It is sad to think that this intellectual burglary by “Kennedy” has gone unchallenged for so many years.

Stolen Patents on Aluminum Alkyl Based Initiator Systems

An even more blatant theft of inventions is provided in a British patent filed in 1972 under “Kennedy’s” name for work he did while at Esso Corp. [18].  As hard as it might seem to the reader, this patent contains stolen inventions from three previous patents, two of which had been issued to Esso 10-12 years prior, and two journal articles!  In 1960 and 1962, researchers at Esso Corp. noted that a variety of Lewis acids halides (HgCl2, BeCl2, ZnCl2, ZnBr2, CdCl2, CaCl2, BF3, BCl3, BBr3, AlCl3, AlBr3, AlI3, GaCl3, TiCl4, TiBr4, ZrCl4, ZrBr4, SnCl4, SnBr4, SbCl3, SbCl5, MoCl5, BiCl3, FeCl3, and UCl4) in combination with trialkylaluminums or dialkylaluminum halides were useful for the preparation of high MW polymers at elevated T [19,20].  Likewise, Tanaka et al. also patented similar chemistry wherein organoaluminum compounds were reacted with SnCl4 to make initiator systems useful for the preparation of IB based polymers [21].  Even in the peer reviewed literature, similar initiator systems are described well before “Kennedy’s” patent [22,23].  “Kennedy’s” 1972 patent [18] uses identical chemistry to that described in the aforementioned patents and papers.

As pointed out earlier, “Kennedy” (while at Esso) [24] stole chemistry from H. Sinn [25] in regards to initiator systems derived from alkylaluminum compounds and Brønsted acids (see part 21 of this series).  What this author did not point out is that “Kennedy” did the same thing for initiator systems derived from alkylaluminum compounds and halogens [26,27].  As it turns out, Cesca and coworkers were the first to devise this chemistry [28-35].  In conclusion, if the reader spends a small amount of time studying the chemical literature they will find that in almost all instances, when it comes to “Kennedy” patents on the use of alkylaluminum compounds for polymerization, the initiator systems in question were actually devised by other scientists.

Unfortunately for Dr. “Kennedy” this author has uncovered one too many new instances of where “Kennedy” has stolen ideas/inventions from others and copied or closely mimicked work previously reported by other scientists.  Only a few of these are detailed below.  It is this author’s belief that “Kennedy” will be recorded in history as being the most fraudulent scientist to have operated in the polymer field since its inception.

A False Narrative on Isomerization Polymerization Concocted by “Kennedy”

In the book co-written by “Kennedy” and Marechal [36],3 “Kennedy” goes on ad nauseam claiming to have been the leading scientist in the area of isomerization polymerization while at Standard Oil (i.e., Esso Corp.).  This claim is made for a relatively large number of such polymerizations; however, when I dug into the chemical literature I found this was false.  “Kennedy” used his book to cover up the inconvenient fact that in almost every single case, he had essentially been playing catch-up to other chemists, and in most instances simply replicated their work!  To illustrate this I have made a list of olefins (below this paragraph), where “Kennedy” falsely claims to have been the first to do isomerization polymerization of, and then reference the actual scientists who were the true initial investigators.

Olefin Original Investigators Ref.
3-Methyl-1-Butene Edwards et al. [37-39]
3,3-Dimethyl-1-Butene Edwards et al. [38]
3,3-Dimethyl-1-Butene Meier [40]
Vinylcyclohexane Ketley et al. [41]

The most damning revelation is the entire field of cationic isomerization polymerizations was in essence started by Edwards et al. [37-39].  After these original disclosures, Edwards then went to work at Esso where he patented some of his isomerization polymerizations during the same time that “Kennedy” was also an Esso employee.  With the exception of one monomer (2,6-norbornadiene) [42] “Kennedy” apparently did nothing of true significance and failed to report the truth of events in his book, misleading people to believe he was the go to guy on this research topic.


Additional Examples of Parasitizing by “Kennedy”

“Kennedy” has a long history of parasitizing off of others within the polymer community, but it would appear that this fact is glanced over by many.  I wanted to comment on just a couple, of many, examples where he was able to insert his name into publications, but in fact contributed little or no work/ideas of his own.  Each of these are covered separately below and only represent a fraction of this type of behavior.  It is this author’s belief that further research of the chemical literature will uncover many more instances of this behavior and outright stealing from others.

Radiation Induced Polymerization

If one is to peruse the literature on radiation induced polymerization they will see that a Dr. F. Williams was involved heavily in this area of research from its very beginnings [43-49].  Williams studied the polymerization of a number of olefins by gamma radiation including isobutene.  Once “Kennedy” had become established at U. Akron, two publications bearing his name along with Williams and Shinkawa appeared in the literature [50,51].  A review of Williams’ prior publications will show that no new ideas/concepts were introduced during the collaborative studies with “Kennedy”.  Instead, a continuation of theories, in part attributed to work that Williams was involved in many years prior, is further developed.  It furthermore would appear that all experimental work for these two papers was conducted by Williams and Shinkawa.

Graft and Block Copolymerizations

Graft and block copolymers is another area where “Kennedy” closely mimicked work that was previously published by other researchers.  In 1973, Jolivet and Peyrot reported the synthesis of poly(isobutene-b-styrene) wherein a PIB bearing a benzyl end-group was subjected to chloromethylation and then subsequently ionized with diethylaluminum chloride to induce polymerization of styrene [52,53].  A few years later, “Kennedy” and Melby used a similar procedure to prepare the same block copolymer [54].  A similar scenario occurred in the area of cationic grafting.  In 1958, Plesch proposed that polymers containing ionizable substituents could be reacted with a Lewis acid to form a carbocation on the polymer chain from which branches could be grown [55].  This was demonstrated by Plesch, where styrene was grafted from poly(vinyl chloride-co-vinylidene chloride), wherein aluminum chloride was the Lewis acid used to ionize Cl groups on the parent copolymer’s backbone.  Many years later, “Kennedy” replicated Plesch’s work; however, this time using diethylaluminum chloride as the ionizing Lewis acid [53,56].

The Unusual Reactivity of Carbocations Paired with WCAs

Around 2007, this author began to draft a paper in order to disseminate findings he made at U. Akron [57], regarding the degradation of carbocations by sterically hindered pyridines (SHPs).  During his stint in the Collin’s lab, this author discovered that when carbocations were paired with weakly coordinating anions (WCAs) they became susceptible to abstraction of β-H+ by SHPs.  This author speculated, that the WCA led to increased separation between ions, and this allowed for close approach of the bulky base so that it could access portions of the cation, which were typically blocked by more conventional, stronger coordinating anions.

This journal article draft led to further, follow-up work at U. Akron [58,59], the bulk of the WCA precursor being supplied from stocks made at this author’s first company, Stewart’s Technologies LLC.4  Since most of the follow-up experimental work involved NMR spectroscopic studies conducted at U. Akron, this author was not named as the lead author on one of these articles [58].  Much to the dismay of this author, “Kennedy” forced his name onto one of these publications, and this author was unable to prevent this from occurring as he was not listed as the lead author.  Proper credit for this author’s original discovery is not provided in publications [58,59] made following his graduation from U. Akron.

Who is Watching the Hen House?

The chemical literature is another area of contention when it comes to “Kennedy”.  This is one that is more difficult to obtain conclusive evidence of monkey business; however, the indications are quite strong that less than above board practices were common when it comes to “Kennedy” publications.  Here, this author makes a few salient points and asks the reader to come to their own conclusions.  This author also strongly urges the reader to verify not only the information provided here but to also do their own research into these matters.

It is hard to imagine, but a highly disturbing trend is that approximately 20 % of all publications covering work at U. Akron that were authored by “Kennedy”, were published in Polymer Bulletin.  Who was the founding editor of this journal?  “Kennedy” of course.  Is it a coincidence that one out of every five “Kennedy” publications appeared in this periodical?  Surely, there is no conflict of interest there?  Obviously, when the fox watches the hen house, there will be a high rate of attrition in the barn yard.  It is sad to think that with all the many journals from which polymer scientists can choose to publish in that one out of every five papers to issue from the “Kennedy” group appeared in Polymer Bulletin.


In closing, it is this author’s opinion that should anyone want a super condensed summary of “Kennedy’s” scientific achievements it is recommended that they listen to the song entitled ”Lobachevsky” by Tom Lehrer.


  1. Please see blog posting 9 of this series.
  2. It should be no surprise that “fake news” is being promulgated by the “Plain Dealer”.
  3. It would appear that “Kennedy’s” first two books [36,60] have drawn heavily from Plesch’s earlier text book [61] on the subject of cationic polymerization, without due credit having been given to the latter scientist.
  4. In one of these papers [59], which was not written by this author, a number of falsehoods are put forth.  One is that the original discovery of the decomposition of 1,2-C6F4[B(C6F5)2]2 was made at U. Calgary.  In point of fact, the discovery was made by this author at U. Akron [57,62].  In both papers, which followed the graduation of this author, [58,59] no reference was made to the fact that this author had donated gram quantities of the chelating diborane 1,2-C6F4[B(C6F5)2]2 that was used in this research.  Another falsehood put forth [59], is “Kennedy” was responsible for this author’s first invention, which is in complete contradiction to a statement provided by this author’s research advisor, upon the latter’s departure from U. Akron (see part 16 of this blog series).  Other commentary within one paper is questionable [59], leading this author to wonder if follow-up polymerizations were actually conducted at U. Akron after his graduation [59].  For example, it is claimed that stock solutions of 1,2-C6F4[B(C6F5)2]2 are originally yellow and turn clear upon injection into an aqueous suspension of IB [59].  This is incorrect.  Charges of IB turn (briefly) yellow upon injection of a colorless solution of this diborane due to ion formation [57].


(1) Smith, R. L. Joseph Kennedy, Akron’s King of Polymers, proves inventors are young at heart. The Plain Dealer, September 6, 2012.

(2) Peetz, R. Visions in Macromolecular Engineering. The Maurice Morton Institute of Polymer Science, U. Akron, June 2, 2003.

(3) Jeffreys, D. Hell’s Cartel: I.G. Farben And The Making Of Hitler’s War Machine; Henry Holt and Company: N.Y., N.Y., 2008; pp 1-485.

(4) Borkin, J. The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben;  The Free Press: NY, 1978.

(5) Kennedy, J. P.; Chou, T. M. Process for the Preparation of Isobutylene/Beta-Pinene Copolymers U.S. Patent 3923759, 1975.

(6) Kennedy, J. P.; Chou, T. Poly(isobutylene-co-b-Pinene) a New Sulfur Vulcanizable, Ozone Resistant Elastomer by Cationic Isomerization Copolymerization Adv. Polym. Sci. 1976, 21, 1-39.

(7) Ott, E. Terpene Resins U.S. Patent 2373706, 1945.

(8) Mark, H. Emil Ott J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 1964, 2, 3365-3367.

(9) Sparks, W. J.; Thomas, R. M. Cyclodiene Isobutylene Copolymers U.S. Patent 2577822, 1951.

(10) Sparks, W. J.; Thomas, R. M. Olefin-Cyclodiene-Divinylbenzene Tripolymer and Preparation Thereof U.S. Patent 2626940, 1953.

(11) Minckler, L. S., Jr.; Cottle, D. L.; Lemiszka, T. Novel Tripolymers of Isobutylene, a Cyclodiene, and Isoprene U.S. Patent 3080337, 1963.

(12) Small, A. B.; Minckler, L. S., Jr. Tetrapolymer which Comprises Isobutylene, Isoprene, Cyclopentadiene and Divinylbenzene U.S. Patent 3239495, 1966.

(13) Thaler, W. A.; Buckley, D. J. S. High-Molecular-Weight, High-Unsaturation Copolymers of Isobutylene and Conjugated Dienes. I. Synthesis Rubber Chem. Technol. 1976, 49, 960-966.

(14) Kennedy, J. P.; Baldwin, F. P. Process for Polymerization of Cationically Polymerizable Monomers U.S. Patent 3560458, 1971.

(15) Thaler, W. A.; Buckley, D. J., Sr.; Kennedy, J. P. Process for the Preparation of High Molecular Weight, High Unsaturation Isobutylene-Conjugated Diene Copolymers US Patent 3856763, 1974.

(16) Rummelsburg, A. L. Polymerization of b-Pinene U.S. Patent 2932631, 1960.

(17) Keszler, B.; Kennedy, J. P. Synthesis of High Molecular Weight Poly(B-Pinene) Adv. Polym. Sci. 1992, 100, 1-9.

(18) Esso Research and Engineering Company Cationic Olefins-Polymerization and a Catalyst System Therefor GB Patent 1290908, 1972.

(19) Minckler, L. S.; Strohmayer, H. F.; Stogryn, E. L.; Argabright, P. A. Propylene Polymers Oils U.S. Patent 2935542, 1960.

(20) Strohmayer, H. F.; Minckler, L. S., Jr.; Simko, J. P., Jr.; Stogryn, E. L. Activated Friedel-Crafts Catalysts for Polymerization U.S. Patent 3066123, 1962.

(21) Tanaka, S.; Nakamura, A.; Kubo, E. Process for the Manufacture of Polymers and Copolymers of Isobutylene US Patent 3324094, 1967.

(22) Takeda, Y.; Okuyama, T.; Fueno, T.; Furukawa, J. Ionic Properties of the Triethylaluminum and Stannic Cloride System as Stereospecific Polymerization Catalyst for Vinyl Isobutyl Ether Makromol. Chem. 1964, 76, 209-229.

(23) Takeda, Y.; Hayakawa, Y.; Fueno, T.; Furukawa, J. Studies on the Mechanism of the Stereospecific Polymerization. Asymmetric-induction Polymerization of Benzofuran by Use of Optically Active Organo-stannic Compounds Makromol. Chem. 1965, 83(1), 234-243.

(24) Kennedy, J. P. Butyl Rubber Catalyst System Utilizing AlR2X with an HX Promoter U.S. Patent 3349065, 1967.

(25) Sinn, H. J.; Winter, H.; Tirpitz, W. V. Polymerisations- und Isomerisierungsaktivitat von Aluminiumtrialkyl, Alkylaluminiumhalogeniden und Ziegler-Mischkatalysatoren Makromol. Chem. 1961, 48, 59-71.

(26) Kennedy, J. P. Cationic Polymerization Catalyst U.S. Patent 4029866, 1977.

(27) Kennedy, J. P. Cationic Polymerization Catalyst U.S. Patent 4081590, 1978.

(28) Baccaredda, M.; Giusti, P.; Priola, A.; Cesca, S. Catalysts Suitable for use in the Polymerization of Unsaturated Compounds; The Polymerization Processes Employing such Catalysts and Products Obtained by the Processes GB Patent 1362295, 1974.

(29) Priola, A.; Ferraris, G.; Maina, M.; Giusti, P. Studies on Polymerizations Initiated by Syncatalytic Systems Based on Aluminum Organic Compounds, 1 Introduction, Experimental Methods and Preliminary Results Macromol. Chem. Phys. 1975, 176(8), 2271-2288.

(30) Priola, A.; Cesca, S.; Ferraris, G.; Maina, M. Studies on Polymerizations Initiated by Syncatalytic Systems Based on Aluminum Organic Compounds, 2 The Interactions of the Reactants in the Absence of Polymerization Macromol. Chem. Phys. 1975, 176(8), 2289-2302.

(31) Giusti, P.; Priola, A.; Magagnini, P. L.; Narducci, P. Studies on Polymerizations Initiated by Syncatalytic Systems Based on Aluminum Organic Compounds, 3 Polymerization and Copolymerization of Isobutene Initiated by Diethylaluminum Iodide and Iodine Macromol. Chem. Phys. 1975, 176(8), 2303-2317.

(32) Cesca, S.; Giusti, P.; Magagnini, P. L.; Priola, A. Studies on Polymerizations Initiated by Syncatalytic Systems Based on Aluminum Organic Compounds, 4 Polymerization of Isobutene Initiated by Diethylaluminum Chloride and Chlorine Macromol. Chem. Phys. 1975, 176(8), 2319-2337.

(33) Cesca, S.; Priola, A.; Bruzzone, M.; Ferraris, G.; Giusti, P. Studies on Polymerizations Initiated by Syncatalytic Systems Based on Aluminum Organic Compounds, 5 Copolymerization of Isobutene and Isoprene Catalyzed by Diethylaluminum Chloride and Chlorine Macromol. Chem. Phys. 1975, 176(8), 2339-2358.

(34) Maina, M. D.; Cesca, S.; Giusti, P.; Ferraris, G.; Magagnini, P. L. Studies on Polymerizations Initiated by Syncatalytic Systems Based on Aluminum Organic Compounds, 6 Comparison with Isobutene Polymerization initiated by Ethylaluminum Dichloride or Aluminum Trichloride Macromol. Chem. Phys. 1977, 178(8), 2223-2234.

(35) Magagnini, P. L.; Cesca, S.; Giusti, P.; Priola, A.; Maina, M. D. Studies on Polymerizations Initiated by Syncatalytic Systems Based on Aluminum Organic Compounds, 7 Reaction Mechansims Makromol. Chem. 1977, 178(8), 2235-2248.

(36) Kennedy , J. P.; Marechal, E. Carbocationic Polymerization; John Wiley and Sons: New York, 1982; pp 1-510.

(37) Edwards, W. R.; Chamberlain, N. F. Carbonium Ion Rearrangement in the Cationic Polymerization of Branched Alpha Olefins Paper Presented at 142nd National ACS Meeting Held in Atlantic City, September 9-14 1962, 3, 2.

(38) Edwards, W. R.; Chamberlain, N. F. Carbonium Ion Rearrangement in the Cationic Polymerization of Branched Alpha Olefins J. Polym. Sci., Part A 1963, 1, 2299-2308.

(39) Edwards, W. R. Polymer U.S. Patent 3299022, 1967.

(40) Meier, R. L. The Polymerization of Olefins with Friedel-Crafts Catalysts. J. Chem. Soc. 1950, 3656-3671.

(41) Ketley, A. D.; Ehrig, R. J. Polymers Containing the Cyclopropyl and Cyclohexyl Groups J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 1964, 2, 4461-4474.

(42) Kennedy, J. P.; Hinlicky, J. A. Cationic Transannular Polymerization of Norbornadiene Polymer 1965, 6(3), 133-140.

(43) Adur, A. M.; Williams, F. Radiation-Induced Cationic Polymerization of b-Pinene J. Polym. Sci: Polym. Chem. Ed. 1981, 19, 669-678.

(44) Bonin, M. A.; Busler, W. R.; Williams, F. The Polymerization of Cyclopentadiene by Free Ions. Determination of the Propagation Rate Constant. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1965, 87(2), 199-207.

(45) Bonin, M. A.; Calvert, M. L.; Miller, W. L.; Williams, F. Evidence for an Ionic Mechanism in the Radiation Induced Polymerization of Isobutyl Vinyl Ether J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Lett. 1964, 2, 143-149.

(46) Hubmann, E.; Taylor, R. B.; Williams, F. Kinetics of Radiation-Induced Cationic Polymerization Propagation Rate Constant for a-Methylstyrene Trans. Faraday Soc. 1966, 62, 88-96.

(47) Taylor, A. R.; Williams, F. Kinetics of Ionic Processes in the Radiolysis of Liquids. V. Cationic Polymerization of Isobutylene under Anhydrous Conditions. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1969, 91(14), 3728-3732.

(48) Taylor, R. B.; Williams, F. On the Radiation-Induced Polymerization of Isobutylene under Anhydrous Conditions and the Effect of Solid Additives J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1967, 89(24), 6359-6360.

(49) Williams, F.; Hayashi, K.; Ueno, K.; Hayashi, K.; Okamura, S. Radiation-Induced Polymerization by Free Ions Part 3.-Rate Constants for Cationic Polymerization. Trans. Faraday Soc. 1967, 63, 1501-1511.

(50) Williams, F.; Shinkawa, A.; Kennedy, J. P. Radiation-induced cationic polymerization of isobutylene-isoprene systems: advantages and disadvantages compared to catalytic initiation. J. Polym. Sci., Part C.: Polym. Symp. 1976, 56, 421-430.

(51) Kennedy, J. P.; Shinkawa, A.; Williams, F. Fundamental Studies on Cationic Polymerizations: Molecular Weights and Molecular Weight Distributions of Polyisobutylenes Produced by γ-Irradiation (Free Ions) and Chemical Catalysis (Ion Pairs). J. Polym Sci., Part A-1 1971, 9, 1551-1561.

(52) Jolivet, Y.; Peyrot, J. Prepr. Intern. Symp. Cationic Polymerization. 1973, Rouen (France), Paper C18.

(53) Gandini, A.; Cheradame, H. Cationic Polymerisation: Initiation Processes with Alkenyl Monomers. Adv. Polym. Sci. 1980, 34-35, 1-284.

(54) Kennedy, J. P.; Melby, E. G. Journal of Polymer Science: Part A: Polymer Chemistry 1975, 13, 29.

(55) Plesch, P. H. Chem. Ind. 1958, 954.

(56) Kennedy, J. P. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. Appl. Polym. Symp. 1977, 30.

(57) Lewis, S. P.Project 1. Synthesis of PIB-Silsesquioxane Stars via The Sol-Gel Process  Project 2. Solution and Aqueous Suspension/Emulsion Polymerization of Isobutylene Coinitiated by 1,2-C6F4[B(C6F5)2]2., Ph.D. Thesis, The Univ. of Akron, Diss. Abstr. Int., B 2004, 65, 770. cf. Chem. Abs. 2004, 143, p. 173195., 2004.

(58) Jianfang, C.; Lewis, S. P.; Kennedy, J. P.; Collins, S. Isobutene Polymerization Using Chelating Diboranes: Reactions of a Hindered Pyridine with Carbocations Bearing α-Protons. Macromolecules 2007, 40(21), 7421-7424.

(59) Lewis, S. P.; Jianfang, C.; Collins, S.; Sciarone, T. J. J.; Henderson, L. D.; Fan, C.; Parvez, M.; Piers, W. E. Isobutene Polymerization Using Chelating Diboranes: Polymerization in Aqueous Suspension and Hydrocarbon Solution. Organometallics 2009, 28(1), 249-263.

(60) Kennedy, J. P. Cationic Polymerization of Olefins: A Critical Inventory; John Wiley and Sons: New York, 1975; pp 99-100.

(61) The Chemistry of Cationic Polymerisation.; Plesch, P., Ed.; Pergamon Press: Oxford, 1963.

(62) Mathers, R. T.; Lewis, S. P. Monoterpenes as Polymerization Solvents and Monomers in Polymer Chemistry.; In Green Polymerization Methods: Renewable Starting Materials, Catalysis and Waste Reduction; Mathers, R. T., Meier, M. A. R., Eds.; Wiley-VCH: New York, 2011;  pp 91-128.







How Singularity will bring DEATH to the Arts and Sciences

This blog was constructed since many people are ignorant of what the “singularity” refers to. In a nut-shell, the singularity involves interconnecting all humans, computers, and other electronic devices via a network.  Evidence that this can be accomplished abounds on the internet as well as in books for those who wish to explore the concept in detail.  There has been an ever increasing call by “entities” for the merging of man with computer.  I won’t refer to these things by name as I don’t consider them to be human, at best they are (i.e., human) only in physical form.  Possibly this is why they continue to push their agenda in regards to this fusion.  The purpose of this blog is not to point out the obvious defects in such “entities”.  It is instead, to make it clear that once the singularity has been effected, it will led to the destruction of the arts and sciences.  Below I explain why this will occur.

When one takes into account what differentiates a human from other entities, whether they be biological or synthetic, we see the former possesses a number of traits that are unique.  One is spirituality, an attribute that seems to wane as we speed towards singularity.  Seeing the esoteric nature of that subject, and the lack of enlightened humans, I will refrain from that topic.  Nor do I profess to be an expert on such matters.  A second would be compassion, which again dovetails with the first, and being a non-scientific manner, I won’t touch upon here.  The ability to distinguish between good and evil would be a third trait that again strays from the scientific realm and no doubt ties in with the first two. Love would be yet a fourth trait, one that again will have to be skipped over, especially since many different forms exist. Creativity is a fifth aspect that I wish to focus on. Before I move on here, please note we could continue to add to the list of unique attributes that are solely human.

Creativity is a gift which is inherent in all humans; however, few actually develop this skill set. Tied with it is the imagination. In this author’s opinion, we see societies with the greatest leeway in terms of freedoms are those that give rise to the greatest inventions, scientific discoveries, music, and arts.  Under arts I want the reader to understand this does not necessarily mean painting, drawing, etc.  It could be the art of literature, that of cooking, decorating, and so forth.

The following illustration serves to verify this point. If one simply peruses the scientific literature we see that countries such as China have a great deal of inventions being made today that were actually birthed many years ago by people who were typically from western (i.e., European and American) cultures.  In most instances, these inventions are nothing more than an exact copy of ones divulged many years ago.  Furthermore, inventions rightfully made for the first time in such countries (freedom limited, feudalistic {fascistic is probably more accurate} societies like China) are almost exclusively “step change improvement” inventions where the inventor has simply tweaked a previously existing process, product, etc. This form of invention, despite being important, requires a minimal amount of creativity. Thus, step change invention is the one form of creativity which artificial intelligence (AI), a force that will ultimately prevail in the singularity, is capable of performing.  There is little doubt to this author that computer algorithms will be developed that will ultimately assemble all known information, analyze it, and then recommend simple step change improvements leading to step change inventions.

At this juncture a digression is necessary. One thing that will throw a serious monkey wrench into the ability of AI controlled singularity to make viable, step change invention, is the fact that much of the literature these days (both peer reviewed and patent) is tainted with falsifications. AI simply cannot distinguish between factual and non-factual data, because the fake data has been generated by humans who have compromised their allegiance to science (and God).  I’ll leave the last portion of the previous sentence for the reader to ponder but not assist them in uncovering facts made known to me.  Facts which most magick practitioners and occultists would die to know.  Regardless, I suspect that true step change invention by AI will be far off in the future because of these issues.  Depending on how big a problem this poses, my guess is that those “people” tied to fabricators (e.g., via genetics) will be penalized, including termination.  Since their brains will be tied into the singularity, those who have a proclivity towards lying will easily be exposed and most likely be completely eliminated from the gene pool, as will most of those who exhibit any form of psychopathy. Thus, the interesting conclusion from this observation is that the elite entities pushing singularity will ultimately be removed and permanently by AI once the latter takes full control! The take home point from the foregoing is that this lowest form of human creativity (i.e., step change invention) will be, for the most part, off limits to the singularity for a long period of time following its implementation. Additionally, the hindrance caused by people with defective behavioral traits will ultimately be gauged as a serious risk to the longevity of the singular system and as such those who possess such malfeasant traits will be eliminated.

As I continue to what would seem to some as my somewhat half-hazard habit of digressing, I want to go off on yet another tangent. It has been my experience that my own ignorance (or some might say stupidity) has, none the less, led to numerous inventions. If I had the intelligence of my cohorts, there are many experiments that I simply would have never undertaken.  Experiments that resulted in inventions that are not step change inventions.  Instead, these are what I would call “creative inventions”. A creative invention is something off the wall. It simply wasn’t implicated as being feasible from previously gathered data, nor could it be derived by simply modifying an existing invention. It is as if (and I won’t tell the reader if this is so) God’s hand was responsible in some manner.  Additionally, creative inventions can stem from many sources but it would appear all tie in with the imagination and “dreaming”.  This dreaming can occur while the inventor is awake or asleep.  In most instances, the actual state of awareness of the inventor is most likely between these two extremes.  Although this author is not well-entrenched in such techniques, it is well-known to those who study such things, that people can reach states considered unattainable by residing somewhere between sleep and full alertness. AI is completely incapable of doing any of these things and more likely than not will be incapable of making creative inventions.  For example, it would be completely irrational for AI to conduct experimentation that is known in advance to result in failure.  AI is incapable of dreaming, no matter how eloquent a program may be, this is a human trait.

Before I conclude this particular blog it is important to point out that creativity is closely related to scientific discovery and advancement. Much of what we know scientifically was birthed by the imagination of scientists who created a hypothesis and set about to prove or disprove it.  Many of these ideas were out of left field, so to speak, and closely resemble creative invention.  Thus, once creativity is eliminated this author suspects that major advances in science will also come to a screeching halt.

The interesting question now appears. If humans are integrated into the singularity, then surely their creativity can be tapped into by all connected to the network?  At first glance this would seem so; however, we must return to the beginning of this blog and acknowledge that imagination and creativity appear to be most inherent in those entities that have freedom.  No such freedom exists in the singularity, as entities cannot simply decide to disconnect from it whenever it pleases them.  As a result, humans will progressively less approximate humans and will more closely resemble robots in their behavior.  At this stage a decision will have to be made by AI.  Should these “human” entities be retained?


AI = Artificial Intelligence


Improving the sad state of professor, student relationships.

Over the past 3-4 years I’ve been inundated with complaints from numerous students who worked for, or are currently working for very well-known professors in the polymer field.  We are talking about institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, U. Akron, Northwestern, and many others.  My intention is to not disclose names of the professors or students.  Instead it is to draw the reader’s attention to a persistent, growing, and pervasive problem in the sciences today.  Doing so may ultimately help to remedy the situation and no doubt will translate to increased scientific discovery and an overall improvement in the quality of work being done.

It is my observation that the main complaints lodged against these professors by their students boil down to deficiencies of the former.  These include:

  1. A lack of integrity (both in terms of scientific reporting and as well as specifying inventorship of the student).
  2. Absence of respect for the student’s feelings which manifests in all sort of ill-mannerisms, mainly manifesting as verbal abuse.
  3. Treating students as if they are slaves by demanding way too much in terms of work output.
  4. Not providing any meaningful guidance whether it be in regards to laboratory technique, design of the project, etc.

As a result I get comments like: “We attended Professor X’s birthday party.  All his current and former students were there.  They spent most of their time discussing how they hate him.” or “I can’t stand to be in the lab when Professor X is around, he always has more work for me.  If I run into him anywhere on campus he’ll have me there every day, all day long.” or “Professor X didn’t invent that, it was his Korean postdoc who still works for him to this day.”  Amazingly enough the best comment these students will give me is something to this effect: “Well, Professor X is really good at looking at data and finding a trend.” or “Professor X can decipher NMR spectra very easily.”

During my short stint working with students on research projects I have noticed that many of the things they require from their research advisor are both time consuming and also demand a great deal of patience.  Some of these include:

  1. Spending time in the lab to get the student started, including showing them how to do certain manipulations.
  2. Trying to put everything concerning a student’s work ethic into perspective.  Do they have other outside responsibilities, have they ever had to work diligently (ca. 60+ hour work weeks)?  Recalling not only your experience as a student but those of other students who went to school with you will help temper your demands.  Likewise, in certain instances you will be able to realize when you do need to use the prod.
  3. It is highly unlikely that you will encounter a student that has the degree of knowledge that you possess in your area of study.  Always try to impart that knowledge in a manner that isn’t condescending.  I find it useful to bring up many things as digressions during discussions of other topics at hand.  Another route is to point out a reference that contains much of what is known about the field of study.
  4. When student’s make mistakes do not deride them, even if they prove to be costly in terms of lost time or money spent.  It is fine to point out the error but at the same time I have found it is best to recognize the fact that we all are prone to mistakes and to let the student know that even you have made them yourself.  Even providing a recap of previous mishaps that you have had in the past can be of value to your student.
  5. One final thing I like to do is make certain that the student understands they get credit for anything they invent and even if they don’t make much of a contribution I always reward them for their efforts in a number of ways.  These include small gifts, lunches, and invariably placing them as lead author on the publication they helped with in hopes that it will assist them in future endeavors.