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woelen
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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 12:27


Well things can sometimes be scary, even for innocent people doing just home chemistry. You still remember the 600 raids in Germany of July 2008? Most of them have never seen back their chemicals or only part of their chemicals were returned. Some were raided for just ordering a liter of 65% HNO3 or a liter of 35% H2O2. Copper sulfate was mentioned as an explosives precursor (for making TACN).

And what to say about your reputation when at 6.30 in the morning in full daylight (at summer, July) multiple police cars stop in front of your house and the street is blocked for a few hours because all your chemicals, glassware and other equipment are taken out of the house and moved in special hazmat containers? No one received a single excuse for this and some of them are regarded as criminals or would-be terrorists by their neighbours. The company, selling the chemicals to those hobbyists now is ruined and does not exist anymore. Other small companies in Germany now also stopped selling chemicals out of fear for legal action against them.




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IrC
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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 12:32


entropy51, Nitpicking? I think gun toting black ski masked men breaking into a home which is also a business in the dead of night is covered in the definition of persecution. Improper storage? How would they know before the raid and what evidence prompted said raid. U.N. tells their own story so I defer to them on that one. Going after the source of supplies for us since they are known whereas we are too hard to locate as a means to shut us down indirectly is in my mind part of the definition. So since those experimenting with rocket fuels or firework formulations are not into chemistry simply because they do not build safe volcanoes or grow weird crystals or whatever it is you do this justifies your exclusion of them from the hobby?


Improper storage? Fire Marshals. If danger is suspected they go in during business hours, do inspections, issue citations, cease and desist orders, or other actions. The ski masked gunmen raiding in the night is for one reason only outside of some dire felonious situation. Namely, FEAR, and the creation thereof. For them, for us, for political talking points, and/or for whatever else is on their agenda. Period.


[Edited on 2-11-2010 by IrC]




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entropy51
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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 12:45


I didn't exclude them from chemistry. But their situation is different from non-pyro chemistry because the explosives and fireworks laws do expose them to legal jeopardy that the non-pyro can ignore. I think. Just different situations for the two groups. I implied no value judgment.

Insofar as know, there is no law against my making a small amount of chems such as AcOH or EtOAc, and I do those sorts of things. On the other hand, it is illegal to light so much a sparkler in the jurisdiction where I live. No, really, I'm not making that up. So I know that anything resembling pyro is definitely out. That's all that I meant.

[Edited on 11-2-2010 by entropy51]
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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 12:55


I can see your reasoning there and am not trying to impute anything in any way but I will not go along with the thought process. I think I will use our beloved Bromic Acid. I love the stuf that guy does in his backyard. Scares the crapola out of me to think bromine fumes are floating past my window (if I were a neighbor) I much prefer the exploding rockets landing on my roof. Just pointing out danger is danger so this cannot in my mind be part of it as means of separation or exclusion.

Anyway gotta run, this post just made me 20 minutes late for work but just had to jump in before too many posts altered the thought process on the fly in this thread. Great debating will check in later.




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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 13:41


Quite a number of us though *are* pyros and I like a few others am solely into energetics. . .
Because of the bald fact that we find ordinary safe-chemistry unexciting as a hobby we can expect to have to face the full rigours of the law if we're found out!
From this perspective, that sucks!
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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 14:45


I think it's ridiculous that we aren't even allowed to light a sparkler, but that's the way it is. I can't change it. I can do lots of chemistry without getting in trouble.

About those raids in Germany:
Quote: Originally posted by woelen  
But according to messages on Internet (whether it is true or not, it is unclear to me), the company had a second 'shadow company' which was selling GBL on a multitonne-scale, some customers needed to be supplied by tank-trucks or with drums of hundreds of liters. I hardly can believe this story, given the perfect service, quality and adherence to rules and regulations of the company. This really was a good company, also respecting all rules of the EU, and not some shady thing like the chemical closet.[Edited on 11-7-08 by woelen]


Quote: Originally posted by woelen  

One of the guys (chemieknolle) from www.versuchschemie.de was raided and they found K4Fe(CN)6 and KNO3 and a whole bunch of other chemicals. The chemicals were taken away, but now the chemicals were returned to him, except the K4Fe(CN)6 and KNO3.
Quote: Originally posted by woelen  
The company which was raided in Germany is back in business again with a new and better-looking website: http://www.lippert-lehrmittel.de
There is more speculation than fact in that thread, but this doesn't sound like wholesale persecution of amateur chemists to me. It sounds as if the authorities were after specific things and amateur chemists were collateral damage.

[Edited on 11-2-2010 by entropy51]
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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 15:31


I lost ALL of my equipment/Glassware, ALL of my Chemicals and several computers, plus my home was subjected to serious damage to the electrical wiring, the roof, the ceiling and several wall panels. I am yet to receive so much as an apology, let alone recompense.

This despite the fact that the prosecution was thrown out of Court as an abuse of process. It can and it DOES happen. In terms of 'probable cause', purchasing a liter of paint thinner or acetone, will be sufficient.
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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 15:43


Quote: Originally posted by unome  
I lost ALL of my equipment/Glassware, ALL of my Chemicals and several computers, plus my home was subjected to serious damage to the electrical wiring, the roof, the ceiling and several wall panels. I am yet to receive so much as an apology, let alone recompense.

This despite the fact that the prosecution was thrown out of Court as an abuse of process. It can and it DOES happen. In terms of 'probable cause', purchasing a liter of paint thinner or acetone, will be sufficient.
Did anything in particular result in this interest in your hobby? I buy hardware store chemicals like acetone, H2SO4, HCl, KMnO4, NaOH etc etc all the time and have never had such experiences. Please be more specific about what types of things we should be avoiding to stay off the radar.
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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 20:10


Somewhere here is the story I told maybe 5 or 6 years ago and is too long to retell it all but : was going prospecting and getting ready I went to a little white building (1984 IIRC) around 32nd st/Thomas in Phoenix. Needed HNO3 and a few other items for my mineral test kit. Anyway sign said chemical supply. Every chemical there was drug related (trap shop) and they had nothing in the line of the simple common things. Pissed me off, (you drive around heavy traffic all day in that city trying to find supplies, I lived on west side, long way, big pain) so I bitched about it. Walked in like I had right to do what I wanted, all I did was legit. Plus remember in 84 it was not like today. Having never made illegal things in my life why should I care what they thought. Screw the bastards if they want to put up a shop and advertise don't make me drive through all that for nothing! Anyway I said as much, why do you have nothing normal people need, all you are is a drug supply house? I left.

3 days later all the way across the valley this California surfer looking dude knocks on my door asking if I would help him make coke or whatever it was I don't recall now for 20 grand. Never saw him before in my life. Being curious as to how he came to my door I decided to let him in and let him give his sales pitch figuring eventually I could get out of him what brought him to my door.

I know people I was being dumber than a box of rocks but hey it was 84 and besides I was untouchable assuming he was not going to plant something. I had a very complete lab all decked out around the place probably a few thousand different bottles of who knows what all around but they could have brought in all the 3 letter agencies and no way could they have found a thing. Today being much more cynical I should add unless they put it there. I think the term is I was stupidly fearless. Talked a long time about chemistry but realized this was never going to get me anywhere so I did what any self respecting nerd would have done. I picked up my submachine gun (yes it was legal for me at that time) and started toying with it, pulling the clip out to make sure all 36 rounds were in there, cocking, uncocking, putting clip back, in general just playing with my toy as he talked. I told him no way was I going to risk my future making the things I saw destroying kids around town daily. He was really starting to sweat. Wish I would have had a scanning FM receiver as I am sure our conversation was going somewhere outside to someone sitting in a van. He got up and said well I guess you are not interested but hey do you have any recipes I could use? I said I don't know maybe I have an old Mr Natural book around somewhere he could have and looked through a pile of papers but of course I was feeding a line of crap but this was getting fun. I still wanted to know why he came to my house. Of course the asking for a formula was his last ditch attempt to implicate me on at least conspiracy if he could get nothing else. Then getting nervous to a high degree he suddenly had to go. Lucky me never saw him again.

All I could do was assume they took down the plate number off my car at the little white building as I was leaving a few days before. Checked registration address to find my house, and decided to trap me. Point is they were trying to get me in on a crime and failing that were assuming I was dumb enough to not know I could be had for something as innocuous as giving up a recipe or formula or whatever on conspiracy alone. Desperate to take a nerd who had never been involved in crime, create one, and throw away the rest of my life. In no way whatsoever at that supply house at any time did I say anything which would lead a reasonable person (or even an unreasonable one) to think I was or had ever been, or would ever wish to be, involved in making illegal drugs. Or anything else illegal for that matter. They had no right to do to me the things they were trying to do and also I consider this a blatant attempt using taxpayer dollars to create a crime out of nothing and turn me an innocent law abiding taxpayer into a criminal moments before they took me down. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the job of LE was to find criminals not make them. Lucky him I was a nice guy 26 years ago, he did not identify himself. Today, who knows.

OK, a lot of typing to answer one small question. This was in my mind, a good (one out of many) example of what I call PERSECUTION.




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MagicJigPipe
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[*] posted on 11-2-2010 at 21:27



Quote:

Oh, I have read every single one of those posts. Many I have read more than once. I have not found evidence of persecution, but lots of paranoia, which is not persecution.


I think you are wrong about that. It's not extreme right now, but maybe it will be some day. But about yourself...

Maybe you are just lucky. Maybe you don't have crazy family members or snoopy neighbors. Maybe you have the means (financially) to defend yourself to the death in court. Many don't, however, hence the paranoia. You are being obtuse.




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[*] posted on 12-2-2010 at 00:13


Quote:
There is more speculation than fact in that thread, but this doesn't sound like wholesale persecution of amateur chemists to me. It sounds as if the authorities were after specific things and amateur chemists were collateral damage.
I also think that this was not an action directly aimed at home chemists, but it is really bad if such a large group of people are suffering from what you call 'collateral damage'. I don't care about the reason of this, if I were raided it would be really bad, whether this is because of collateral damage, or directly aimed at home chemists.

The company did an attempt to restart (I wrote about that), but he stopped his business on the first of october. He sold his surplus stock of chemicals and that's it: http://www.lippert-chemikalien.de/
On the german forum he explained why he stopped. Too many people are afraid of buying chemicals in this company, they fear another round of raids. The owner of the company also had a very hard time with official agencies and they are keeping an eye on him very strongly. These reasons were enough for him to quit the chemical supply business.

The example you mention from my thread demonstrates what I said higher up in this thread. Chemieknolle received most of his chemicals, but not all (the KNO3 and K4Fe(CN6) were not returned). These chemicals are legal and there is not a single EU-rule which tells that you may not own these chemicals. K4Fe(CN)6 even is present in modern neutered "chemistry boxes".




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entropy51
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[*] posted on 12-2-2010 at 06:52


Quote:
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the job of LE was to find criminals not make them. Lucky him I was a nice guy 26 years ago, he did not identify himself. Today, who knows.
IrC, are you holding this up as an example of the risks we all face daily as amateur chemists? I thought we were talking about the current situation, not some strange event from 25 years ago. I can only speak for myself, but I doubt that sort of wierdness happens to the average amateur chemist. Wouldn't you agree?

I think your assumption that this stranger was LE is just that, an assumption.

Frankly I have my doubts. I think if LE was after you and he saw the lab you describe, and your weapon, he would have been back with a warrant faster than you can say "probable cause". And if he was LE, apparently he decided you were not a cook and that was the end of the matter, wasn't it? Doesn't sound like persecution to me. LE would probably call it an "investigation".

Equally possible is that he was a dealer looking for a cook and had somehow heard about your lab that was apparently openly displayed. Or perhaps a cook looking to shut down the competition he thought you represented.

I have to check the paranoia column on this one.

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[*] posted on 12-2-2010 at 07:22


Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipe  

Maybe you are just lucky. Maybe you don't have crazy family members or snoopy neighbors. Maybe you have the means (financially) to defend yourself to the death in court. Many don't, however, hence the paranoia. You are being obtuse.
Apparently I'm not the only forum member who is lucky. We have thousands of members, some of whom probably have reason to be paranoid, but it seems like the majority of us practice our hobby without major problems.

Everyone has either crazy relatives or snoopy neighbors (the only kind, I think) including myself.

But in spite of plumbers, electricians, county sewer workers, furnace repairman, and gas meter readers having been in my lab at one time or another I've never needed a lawyer. Perhaps because I lock my glassware and chems away in cabinets at those times. Discretion is the better part of valor.

No, we can't go down to Fisher and buy things off the shelf like you could in the 1950's. But that's just how it is, and we manage anyway. It doesn't make me feel persecuted.

Many of the events reported on this forum are of the type "The clerk in the Walmart looked at me funny when I bought 20 liters of acetone." Well, duh. I'd look at you funny if I was a Walmart clerk too. I read about forum members buying huge quantities of chemicals and I wonder "What are they thinking? They keep that shit in their house? Or sometimes, "You bought what on e-bay??" We make our own luck, don't we?
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[*] posted on 12-2-2010 at 12:41


Quote: Originally posted by entropy51  

But in spite of plumbers, electricians, county sewer workers, furnace repairman, and gas meter readers having been in my lab at one time or another I've never needed a lawyer. Perhaps because I lock my glassware and chems away in cabinets at those times.


When discretion indicates that the hobby chemist lock his glassware and chems away when service people are in his lab, then by the definition of some he has a clandestine lab.

This is the same boat in which I find myself. This makes me feel persecuted, as it is unjust.




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[*] posted on 12-2-2010 at 13:15


Yes, I have to agree that it is unjust, but I guess I don't feel persecuted. I keep most of the stuff in the cabinets when I'm not using it so it's not a big deal. When I was a teenager my lab was a smallish room in my parent's house and anyone visiting could see all of it. I wish it were still like that, but that's not the world we live in now. On the upside, I have LOTS more stuff now.:D

I guess I do feel for the pyro guys; the work Magpie and I do is unlikely to attract much attention, which is not a bad thing.
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MagicJigPipe
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[*] posted on 12-2-2010 at 14:53


Quote:

They keep that shit in their house?


Examples?





"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
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[*] posted on 12-2-2010 at 15:34


I still don't get what's wrong with it. Where do you live, a cave? La la land?

I saw a several people pick up around 15-20 ~2 L bottles of propane at Wal-Mart the other day in preparation for the "snowstorm". Like I said before, what of it? Yeah, I laughed at them because it was excessive but...

Are you forgetting to put a zero in front of that 19? They have 20+ 25 lb tanks down at my local gas station. People use similar amounts of propane to power their grills. These are 5 gallon tanks. If the SG of propane is .5 that would be 40 L which is about 10 gal. You think two standard propane tanks is excessive?

I understand the only reason we don't find it excessive is that it's common place but it's not exactly high-risk activity.

Surely you were confused as to how much propane 19 kg is.

EDIT

It's even possible if not probable that most of us here have more flammable/explosive chemical energy stored in our vehicles. Perhaps even taking into account the increased energy/damage from pressurized fuel. I'll go do the calculations now, to see.


[Edited on 2-12-2010 by MagicJigPipe]




"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
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[*] posted on 12-2-2010 at 19:49


Didn't have to notice. I mentioned pressure. Which reminds me; I forgot about those calculations. Let's see if that pressure adds up to more energy being released (I realize that the pressure counts for even more because of the flammability but I'm sticking to straight numbers for now).

And yes, even the hillbillies in Arkansas keep them outside (or in a garage). Satisfied?

"Even in Arkansas" ... heh ... (but he's right)

EDIT

Okay. Let me know if I'm making a mistake here. 20,000 g of propane at atmospheric pressure (MW = 44.1) is about 10,200 L or 10.2 m^3. Pressure of propane at about 20*C is 275,800 Pa. Multiplying pressure and volume give a unit of N*m so this seems to be accurate: 2.8 megajoules. So, of course, if released in one second that's 2.8 megawatts OR about 600 g of TNT. That's a pretty decent amount of energy, eh? But of course TNT's is released in microseconds while this is release over a much longer period of time. Now for chemical energy:

According to this one mole of propane combusts to produce 2040 kJ of energy. We had about 450 moles so that's 918 MJ. 2.8 + 918 ~~ 920 MJ. So, the pressure is negligible considering just numbers.

(let's assume no potential/pressure energy for gasoline)

So, lets say around 400 L of gasoline (two typical cars filled to the top). This place says 45.8 MJ/kg. Gasoline has density of about .74 g/mL (according to Wikipedia). So, 400,000 times .74 is about 300,000 g = 300 kg. That's about 14 GJ or 3 * 10^-4 kT.

So, with raw numbers, even partially filled gas tanks have more energy than 20 kg of propane. Now, of course circumstantially propane might cause more damage but... Well, I was just curious.

[Edited on 2-13-2010 by MagicJigPipe]




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[*] posted on 12-2-2010 at 20:25


"Perhaps because I lock my glassware and chems away in cabinets at those times. Discretion is the better part of valor."

entropy51 no one knew about my lab as it was inside a large industrial complex in a private house where I got discount rent to watch the cameras all around at night. You could not see my place from the outside, it had a usually locked narrow gate in front with a long walkway to the house, completely enclosed in 11 foot high walls. I at that time had no acquaintances in that area, I worked alone and most of my supplies came by shipments meaning neither did I have any supply house haunts to go to (the reason I looked in town for HNO3 due to hazmat S/H as well as the time frame I wanted it on for my soon to come prospecting trip). I was as invisible as it gets. You say I assume LE and I say you do not know what you are talking about. Saying 26 years ago does not count is as naive as it gets as well. Things are worse now not better. What rock do you hide under when your chems are hidden away in locked places so no one knows causing you to assume there is no danger for us from snoops. If there was none why the hiding away. They do not know where osama is this does not mean they are not interested in finding him. Osama never needed a lawyer yet either so that proof of yours means nothing. Going back to your quote so there is nothing to fear yet you hide.

You post opinions based upon assumptions without knowledge. You were not there, knew nothing about my circumstances, nothing of the location nor people who knew me. There was no way anyone heard through the grapevine about a lab they could approach. Especially since at that time I was the only one of the millions in the valley who knew about my lab. The businesses in the complex knew nothing about my lab and were around more than anyone since the entrance to my location was locked most of the time. I usually locked it when I entered unless I was heading back out soon which was the case that day. Otherwise the guy would have never been at my door. In fact he must have had to walk around looking for an entrance since the only information from the outside was my address number out front, and he would have had to climb a dozen feet up the fence to even see there was a house. From the outside all you could tell was there were unapproachable manufacturing business from my side. The entrance to the rest was on the side street.

Only LE would have gone to that much trouble to get in not to mention you were not privy to all the conversation, body language, and numerous other clues the guys entire story was contrived. So in short you discount my story based upon your useless assumptions.





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[*] posted on 16-2-2010 at 10:11


Quote: Originally posted by entropy51  
Quote: Originally posted by unome  

and the knowledge on how to combine them, does that mean I have ANY intention of baking a cake?
Then you had better be able to convince a jury that the cake recipe on your computer didn't belong to you. Otherwise you had both the materials and the knowledge to bake the cake, and that convicts people every day. The jury will believe that combination equals intent.


No, information and having it is still Ist amendment (at least it is at this writing.:mad: ) Any fool can claim "Homeland Security" now on anything, though, even having gas for the lawnmower. Some friends decades ago made little pipe bombs of gunpowder in crimped shell casings; they went to to Juvy for it --and then said I was going to be arrested 'cause I "told them how" (I didn't). Anyway, the cops may have "said" that to them, but they never did anything---probably talked to a lawyer who said conspiracy was on the boys' part, not Mine.
(These days, the father whose reloading gear was "accessible" by the Boys would have been indicted. Quite fair...)
I can have a gun and a friend then tell me how to be a sniper, but killing a person would be My responsibility as the conspiracy was mine.

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[*] posted on 27-11-2016 at 07:06


Quote: Originally posted by unome  

I also have flour, eggs & milk - and the knowledge on how to combine them, does that mean I have ANY intention of baking a cake?


I f**ing lost it at this:D:D:D




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[*] posted on 27-11-2016 at 07:11


People will always fear what they don't understand.
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[*] posted on 28-11-2016 at 14:30
Cultural change


I haven't been active on this site for very long but I have a long history of backyardism and can appreciate the sort of goings on the members indulge in. The one trend that worries us is the way we are viewed by media and uneducated observers as, increasingly, a danger to others. I have seen the way the Australian landscape has gone from the iconic '...she'll be right mate!' casual disregard for petty concerns, to having a State with the unofficial title 'The Nanny State'.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-29/cover-your-pepsi,-stas...

No petty concern is too small to avoid legislature and penalties for disobeying them. Our hobby and even science itself is under threat from the rest who don't understand and overreact, relying on their emotionally driven opinions. I'm penning this little essay for a reason, I've noticed that we are at risk becoming our own enemies and I'm bringing this up to avoid a situation where 'divided we fall.'

Scientists don't traditionally advocate, they avoid the emotional hyperventilation that makes them scientists in the first place. As an example; a situation has occurred recently where a dumb arse politician has wanted to move a government agency to his electorate because it has the impressive sounding title of pesticides and veterinary medicines authority.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-25/pesticides-veterinary-...

It's a regulatory body, not a consulting agency. The scientists who work there are risk assessors, they go through the publications and legislature to ensure certain products make it into the Australian market or stay in the Australian market under current laws and guidelines. What the hell do they need to be in rural Armidale for? Barnaby Joyce (circus music please!..thank you) has a long history of being more than just a typical politician making decisions based on perceived votes or his particular brand of ignorance.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/barnaby-joyce-nails-abbott-govt-c...

Did the scientists rally and placard his electoral office and jostle for positions on talkback radio to vent their outrage? No, they just started thinking about updating their resumes and wondering if they can afford the move and consider taking their kids from their schools? I know because I have family doing just that. I think that given the way the global society is going, our lack of advocacy should change, but in order to do so there need to be some internal structure.

What I find troubling on Science madness is the trend to distance one chemical venture from another. There is open hostility on 'cookery', a venture that seems to be looked at as a pure indulgence in profiteering from peddling poison. A meth fueled rant in a post on converting psuedo is obviously more closely aligned to that position. And I can see that given current legal views, we just don't need the heat. But a post that asks for a technique that although seems transparently aimed at a maligned TM, but via a several precursor route, is not a money making venture. And yet the internal hostility is still there. What I am afraid of is if we go down the path of 'don't go after me I'm only making coloured crystals not drugs or bombs', then the legislators will slowly take away every avenue to procure or own anything less benign than play dough and craft glue. There are hundreds of thousands out there, across the globe, who either make and take drugs or make explosives and are neither sociopaths or terrorists. They take and manage risks like every other chemical endeavor, and it's the legislators and the ignorant who want to make that decision for us.

If we want to defend our ability to take and manage risks then it should be framed as such, all types of risks not just in one field and not another. Clearly we need this up to a point, there are upper limits to the kind of things that can be out there without oversight. But to get to a position where it's reasonable to own and use chemicals and equipment for fun and education, we as a collective are going to have to think about organising and setting a political agenda that seeks to allow us to manage our own risks safely. How we do this needs unity and discussion. Because in the current cultural battle between the timid and the curious, the timid are slowly going have us all clinging to our pillows, filling out risk assessment forms before going shopping. Because the politicians and media are more than happy to sell them fear and platitudes rather than education and understanding. I hope we can stop the trend of seeing any risk as too much risk, taking away science and discovery.


[Edited on 29-11-2016 by Chemetix]
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[*] posted on 28-11-2016 at 21:36


I second Chemetix, being a new member here myself. Having a community like SM to discuss chemistry and for sharing a mutual interest in scientific discovery is great. While there will always be room for improvement in being more accepting and having a more unified front in the war on chemophopbia, we should be careful about failing as bad as the US' war on drugs.

While each situation will always be different, shouting someone down for what seems like blatant dangerous or what you may know to be stupid practices will always be a double-edged sword; even if it is the apparent best course of action. Giving advice and explaining the dangers both chemical, physical, and legal will always be more effective then degrading others and sometimes pushing people away from science. To add to Chemetix's point we will need all the support we can get in this battle of perceptions. We should be trying to draw new people in rather than push them out. If ignorance makes people afraid of what we do we should try and attack the root of the problem, a scientifically illiterate society. At the moment, doing this will be our job for the most part, as we all know, the education systems in place won't do it. Hopefully one day this changes.

However like others have said there will always need to be a balance. I am extremely grateful for the 'bucket of cold water' thrown in my face when I started trying to make propofol and received what I believe to be an appropriate backlash. I was naive and just wanted to try my hand at some beginner organic syntheses thinking I was finally ready to do the fun stuff. Needless to say I will refrain from going back to that endeavor until I am better educated and with more experience.
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