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OSS 20th Anniversary Event: Talking Science in the Age of Fake News

Thank you for joining the McGill Office for Science and Society celebrate our 20th anniversary!

A video the evening can be viewed here or on our YouTube channel.


Please join the McGill Office for Science and Society (OSS) us in marking their 20th anniversary!

David Harpp, Tomlinson Chair in Science Education, will take a look back at the OSS' last 20 years and how they became the first-ever University backed office dedicated to critical thinking and disseminating information based on scientific evidence in a world long before the term "fake news" even existed. 

Following this retrospective, Timothy Caulfield, Author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything and star of A User's Guide to Cheating Death, Joe Schwarcz, Director of the McGill OSS, Carly Weeks, National Health Reporter at The Globe and Mail, and Ryan Armstrong, Executive Director of the non-profit organization Bad Science Watch, will each present a 10-minute "flash talk" describing one main challenge they face in science communication today. This will then be followed by a panel discussion moderated by McGill OSS science communicator, Jonathan Jarry.   


Location: Otto Maass Chemistry (801 Sherbrooke Street West)
Time: 6:00pm



 Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, the public representations of science and health policy issues have allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic and writing awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Trudeau Foundation and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He contributes frequently for the popular press and is the author of two national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015). Caulfield also has a strong social media presence and is the host and co-producer of the documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death. @CaulfieldTim




 Joe Schwarcz is Director of the McGill Office for Science and Society. He is well known for his informative and entertaining public lectures on topics ranging from the chemistry of love to the science of aging. Dr. Joe has received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public and is the only non-American ever to win the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Grady-Stack Award for demystifying chemistry. He hosts "The Dr. Joe Show" on Montreal's CJAD and has appeared hundreds of times on The Discovery Channel, CTV, CBC, TV Ontario and Global Television. He is also an amateur conjurer and often spices up his presentations with a little magic. Dr. Joe also writes a newspaper column entitled The Right Chemistry and has authored a number of books including best-sellers, Radar, Hula Hoops and Playful Pigs, The Genie in the Bottle, The Right Chemistry, An Apple a Day, Is That a Fact?, and Monkeys, Myths, and Molecules. Dr. Joe was awarded the 2010 Montreal Medal, the Canadian Chemical Institute’s premier prize recognizing lifetime contributions to chemistry in Canada. In 2015 he was named winner of the Balles Prize for critical thinking by the US based Committee for Skeptical Inquiry in recognition of his 2014 book, Is That A Fact? @JoeSchwarcz


 Carly Weeks established a reputation as a fearless journalist with a passion for shining a spotlight on the health and health-care related topics that matter to Canadians. We all have a vested interest in health-care. And in a world in which we are increasingly surrounded by myths, misinformation and lies that threaten to keep us misinformed and in the dark, Weeks specializes in finding the ‘hidden’ stories that some organizations would rather not be told. She provides a healthy dose of reality in her writing and debunks myths on topics ranging from the prescription painkiller crisis to fears over vaccination to Big Food and nutrition policy to name just a few. She has also written about her personal experiences with extreme bullying as a child and has become a source of information and inspiration for families dealing with this serious issue. @CarlyWeeks






 Ryan Armstrong obtained his PhD in biomedical engineering from Western University in 2016 following his undergraduate degree in medical biophysics (BMSc) at the same institution. Ryan’s research spanned across multiple domains, including biomechanics, medical imaging, image processing, human-computer interaction, and surgical simulation. Ryan became interested in science-based activism after encountering false cancer treatment claims in his community. Learning that these practitioners were regulated health professionals, he found that the regulatory system was not adequately protecting the public. @RyArmst

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