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2009-2010 Freaky Fridays

Freaky Fridays: McGill scientists confront myths, debunk popular misconceptions, and clarify science. Each Freaky Friday lecture allows for audience interaction and is followed by a popular film.

Freaky Fridays takes place in the Auditorium of the Redpath Museum, 859 Sherbrooke Street West, Metro McGill or Peel. Seating is limited, but reservations are not necessary.

For the current season, please visit the main Freaky Friday page.

For the 2009-2010 season, please see below.


What does it mean to be Human?

  • Fri., September 18, 2009
  • By André Costopoulos (Anthropology, McGill)
  • There is a deeply ingrained assumption that humans are fundamentally different from other animals. To what degree, and in what way is this true? Through the classic film "Planet of the Apes" we will reflect on what makes us human.

Bats and Vampires

  • Fri., October 30, 2009
  • By Angelika Meschede.
  • Learn about the amazing world and diversity of bats, how vampire bats really feed, and how they may one day help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Followed by the 1979 Werner Herzog film "Nosferatu".

Get real about Geo-engineering

  • Fri., November 13, 2009
  • By Nigel Roulet (Geography, McGill).
  • Should we dump iron into the ocean to launch reflective particles into the atmosphere in order to reduce the amount of sunlight that gets through? Co-hosted with the Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium, this event includes the film "Six Degrees Could Change the World" (2007).

Mushrooms: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  • Fri., December 11, 2009
  • Presentation by Suha Jabaji (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill).
  • Learn about the world of fungi and their integral relationship with the health of the planet. Followed by the documentary film "Know your Mushrooms" (2008).

UFOs — the Psychology of a Phenomenon

  • Fri., January 15, 2010
  • By Dr. Don Donderi (Psychology, McGill).
  • Explains how and why a psychology professor who studies human perception and memory came to study the UFO phenomenon in the first place.

UFOs - The Evidence in Detail

  • Fri., January 29, 2010
  • By Don Donderi (Psychology).
  • Review of UFO evidence in detail and outline of the relationship between the evidence and the psychology of perception, motivation and belief. Followed by the film "Communion".

UFOs - Close Encounters

  • Fri., February 12, 2010
  • By Don Donderi (Psychology).
  • This lecture reviews the evidence about “Close Encounters,” the most controversial aspect of the UFO phenomenon, in which humans allegedly encounter and interact with extra-terrestrial beings. Followed by the film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".

UFOs - Science and Society.

  • Fri., February 26, 2010
  • By Don C. Donderi (retired McGill Psychology).
  • This lecture reviews the UFO phenomenon on society. Donderi’s analysis is based on a widely known work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, written by Thomas Kuhn in 1962. Followed by the film "Contact".

Razmatazz -- Magic, hypnosis and the brain.

  • Fri., March 5, 2010
  • By Amir Raz (Psychiatry, McGill).
  • Followed by the 1953 film "Houdini".