The McGill Office for Science and Society (OSS) is a unique venture dedicated to the promotion of critical thinking, science communication, and the presentation of scientific information to the public, educators, and students in an accurate and responsible fashion. With a mandate to demystify science for the public and separate sense from nonsense, the Office has a history of tackling fake news in the world of science well before the term “fake news” even existed. The OSS team, comprised of Director Joe Schwarcz at the helm, as well as science communicators and a Communications and Public Affairs Director, is often called upon by the media to comment on a variety of science-related issues. Public lectures relating to health, science, pseudoscience, and science communication are also a large component of the work of the OSS, as is answering science-related questions through the OSS website or via social media. The OSS weekly "Digest," a free weekly newsletter that provides insight into the science of everyday life with an emphasis on skepticism, is available. Be sure to sign-up here.
The OSS also oversees a number of courses designed to provide a scientific basis for the evaluation of controversial issues, as well as undertake the investigation of potentially fraudulent products and therapies, as well as modern day “snake-oil salesmen”. The OSS hosts the Trottier Public Science Symposium, one of McGill's largest annual public events, that focuses on science-related topics of current public interest, featuring presentations by renowned speakers and experts.