Galen Loving, a Harvard Medical School cancer researcher working at Massachusetts General Hospital, says he "mindlessly" left the computer on the seat next to him Thursday evening as he ate, and forgot it when he left, The Boston Herald reported.
"I feel ridiculously stupid," Loving, 33, whose work focused on pancreatic cancer, said. "I always thought if I lost data it would be because I dumped my water bottle over the keyboard. I never thought I'd leave it in a restaurant."
"I have very little faith that I'll ever see it again," he said. "With unemployment at (nearly) 10 percent, people have become a little bit more morally flexible."
He had backed up the data on thumb drives, Loving said -- which unfortunately were in the bag with the computer.
"The computer, of course, is very expensive," Loving said, "but I just wish I had the data. I don't think it would be of use to anybody."