Ron is the best graduate student I ever had. He should be justly proud of what he has accomplished during the five years he has spent in this lab, having nursed a very important problem in transcriptional regulation from conceptualization to the purification of several key transcription factors and the cloning of their genes. Furthermore, one of the materials he prepared has the potential of being an important therapeutic agent.
On the basis of his performance and recommendations, Ron was accepted for a prestigious and comparatively well-paying postdoctoral fellowship in a productive, highly regarded laboratory in his area of interest. This situation was particularly attractive since it held the promise of a faculty position in two years. During his recruitment visit, the lab chief, Dr. John Link, suggested that the more materials Ron could bring from his current laboratory, the more productive Ron could be, avoiding the time and expense of preparing the materials anew.
Up until this point, Ron and Dr. Morris had not discussed the disposition of the products of his research. One day, Ron met with Dr. Morris to thank her for all her years of support and friendship, and for helping him obtain the fellowship. When Ron raised the topic of research materials, Dr. Morris restated her affection for him and her appreciation of his promise as a scientist. Dr. Morris then stated somewhat apologetically, "Of course, you understand that the materials associated with your research project belong to the lab. I really can't allow you to take your notebooks, probes, or other materials with you. I'm sorry Ron, but that's just the way it is."
"There is ample precedent in other areas to support the notion that I should have access to these materials. For example, Cell and Science explicitly state that materials must be made available to qualified investigators. Since I did the work, I must be a qualified investigator. Also, NIH requires that materials developed under NIH grants be shared. Ethically, you cannot deny me the materials. Furthermore, as a graduate student I'm you are.
Discuss the validity of Ron's statement.