McGill Office for Chemistry and Society


Published: 15Sep1999

The McGill University Department of Chemistry cordially invites you to attend the official opening of the new McGill Office for Chemistry and Society (MOCS), which will be headed by the well-known teacher, writer and radio personality, Dr. Joe Schwarcz. The opening ceremony will take place in the lobby of the Otto Maass Chemistry Building, 801 Sherbrooke Street West, on Friday, September 17, 1999 at 12:00 noon. The opening will follow directly after Dr. Schwarcz’s regular radio show (CJAD) from the lobby of the building.

This unique office will be dedicated to disseminating up-to-date information in the areas of food, food issues, medications, cosmetics and health topics in general. Information from the Office will be directed towards the public, educators and students. Extensive use will be made of radio, television, the press, private consultations, public lectures, the classroom and the Internet.

MOCS will also be actively involved in continuing education at several levels. Courses for the general public will deal with issues of current interest, ranging from nutrition and health care to various environmental concerns. Specialized short courses will be designed for the professional development of employees in accordance with Quebec government requirements. Workshops and programs targeted at elementary and high school teachers will aim towards energizing classroom activities through the infusion of accounts of interesting and current scientific developments.

A wide array of educational and informative presentations suitable for conferences, company and school functions, professional meetings, study groups, seniors’ societies and special events will be available. These range from the celebrated "Magic of Chemistry" stage show to presentations on dietary supplements and biotechnology.

The Office for Chemistry and Society will also serve as a center for McGill’s chemistry students to keep abreast of the latest research pertaining to the role of chemistry in everyday life. There will be regular meetings with these students to ensure that they are sensitized to public concerns and are equipped to respond to some of the major queries that arise. A local periodicals library featuring over thirty publications that deal with the role of science in daily life will serve as a resource for these students to avail themselves of information not normally dealt with in standard courses.

Dr. Joe Schwarcz and Dr. Ariel Fenster will serve as the backbone of the operation. Widely recognized both for their teaching skills and for their efforts at communicating science to the public, they have collectively won over a dozen local, national and international awards for their teaching and public outreach efforts. Located at McGill, the Office will have access to experts in virtually all areas of science and medicine for consultation. Please join us to help launch this novel venture.