Quick Links


Dr Oz and phthalates
The title of the segment on the Dr. Oz Show was “The Secret Ingredient Companies are Hiding in Your Food.” What could that be? Some opiate to keep you coming back for more? Tetrahydrocannabinol to increase appetite? Read More.

The Catholic Church and Science
Pope Francis’ recent statement at the Pontifical Academy of Science that evolution and the Big Bang model are not contrary to Catholic beliefs created quite a stir. Afterall, for many people the notion that the Church is anti- science is a given. Read More.

The Hippocrates Health Institute Dispenses Unhealthy Advice
Do parents have a right to make a decision about how a minor’s cancer is to be treated? Or not treated? This is not just a hypothetical question, it is a very current one. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a bone marrow cancer that untreated leads to death but with appropriate chemotherapy has an over 90% cure rate. Read More.

Ebola scams are sickening
We’ve seen it before. A medical crisis emerges and the scam artists crawl out of the woodwork. Fearful citizens pop open their wallets and fork out hard-earned money for nonsensical “cures.” When it comes to a disease for which science cannot offer an effective treatment, quacks quickly rush in to fill the vacuum. This is just what is happening with Ebola. Read More.

Green coffee beans give science a black eye
Dr. Oz  didn’t mince his words when he described the wondrous effects of green coffee been extract. “Magical,” “staggering,” an “unprecedented discovery!” “Finally, a cure for obesity” he breathlessly gushed. I gasped too. Read More.

Opioid peptides: the heroin within?
If you were to hear the words ‘opioid peptides’, they might not trigger much within your brain, other than that the former sounds a bit like opium and together they sound quite scientific. Read More.

Looking for a specific article? Search the OSS Blog!

Here are the recordings:


Symposium, Day 1 - Jim Bell "Postcards from Mars: Using Rovers to Explore the Habitability of the Red Planet" & Jill Tarter - "SETI: Looking for Technosignatures"

Symposium, Day 2 - Sara Seager: "The Search for Earth 2.0" & Joe Nickell - "UFO Mythologies"


Free App!!!

We are pleased to announce that we now have an “App” both for Apple and Android devices so that the McGill Office for Science and Society’s nifty and sometimes quirky science can always be at your fingertips. The Apps are free and can be downloaded here:


For Apple devices, you can download the app here.

For Android devices, you can download the app here.

For Windows phone devices (8.0, 8.1), you can downlad the app here.


Latest OSS Blog Articles: 

A hot potato
The poor potato is being mashed by criticism.Too high a glycemic index, critics say, which means more sugar in the bloodstream for anyone concerned about diabetes. Forget about eating potatoes, say the proponents of low carb diets. French fries? Read More.

Seeds of Hope
Why would anyone oppose a technology that dramatically increases crop yields and protects farmers from excessive exposure to pesticides? Because of irrational fears about the technology involved, which is of course genetic modification. Read More.

Climate Change
As we get ready for winter here and watch news reports of unseasonable plummeting temperatures in some parts of North America, it is hard to be concerned about global warming. But climate change is here and it comes with baggage. Read More.

The oPhone
Your cell phone wakes you up in the morning. No big deal. You reach over to turn off the alarm, touch another button, and suddenly the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafts into your nose. But no point reaching for the cup, there isn’t one. Read More.




Did You Know?

Peanuts have a bizarre history.  The Indians of South America were the first to cultivate them and the Spaniards introduced them to Europe from where they found their way to Africa.  Here slave traders made use of the high fat content of peanuts and used them to fatten slaves for the auction block.  African slaves brought peanuts to America and eventually a former slave, George Washington Carver, became an outstanding scientist and promoted the use of peanut products in the manufacture of items ranging from ink and shampoo to axle grease and cooking oil.  Not everyone is fond of peanuts.  People who suffer from “arachibutyrophobia” have a morbid fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of their mouth.

For more interesting facts, please make sure to check out our "Did You Know?" section.



Most Recent Science Links:


Sex with funny, rich men linked with more orgasms
“Women have stronger orgasms if their partner is funny – and rich”, says the Mail Online.
This headline is wrong. And the research it’s based on, while fascinating, is rather inconclusive.
Read More. 



Are pollution and attention problems related?
“Could ADHD be triggered by mothers being exposed to air pollution while pregnant?,” asks the Mail Online.
Pregnant women have enough to worry about, without going round in a gas mask or moving to the country. Fortunately, the study that this news relates to doesn’t find a connection between exposure to pollution while pregnant and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Read More.


Researchers suspect diet may play role in possible reduced risk
People who are lactose-intolerant may be less likely to develop certain types of cancer, a new study suggests.
And, the researchers suspect the reduced risk may be related to diet. Read More.




What Interstellar Got Right and Wrong About Science
If you’re one of the estimated 3 gajillion people who have seen or will see Chris Nolan’s blockbuster movie Interstellar, one thing is already clear to you: this is not a documentary. That means it’s fiction, specifically science fiction, which is how you get the sci and the fi in the sci-fi pairing. So if you go into the movie looking for a lot of scientific ‘gotcha’ moments, let’s stipulate up front that you’re going to find some. Read More.



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