Bogus science, health quackery to be exposed at McGill symposium

October 12, 2010

Four world-famous science communicators will discuss various aspects of pseudoscience and will provide guidance for separating sense from nonsense at the Sixth Annual Trottier Symposium, which takes place Oct. 18 and 19, 2010 at McGill. Clichés about pseudoscience might spring to mind: the snake oil merchants of yesteryear have morphed into uninformed politicians, over-eager pharmaceutical companies and PR firms that challenge ethical limits - and all will be in the line of fire at this symposium.

The lectures will cover hot-button issues that arouse the general public and represent fascinating topics for coverage. Alternatively, media professionals are encouraged to consider the series as a way of gaining a greater understanding of these important subjects.

WHO:

James Randi - http://www.randi.org/site/
James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world's most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi has pursued "psychic" spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated homeopathic water "with a memory," and generally been a thorn in the sides of those who try to pull the wool over the public's eyes in the name of the supernatural

Ben Goldacre, MD - http://www.badscience.net/
Dr. Goldacre is an award-winning British writer, broadcaster, and medical doctor who specializes in confronting dodgy scientific claims made by scaremongering journalists, uninformed politicians, pharmaceutical corporations, PR companies and quacks. He has written the weekly "Bad Science" column in the Guardian since 2003 as well as articles for the British Medical Journal..

David Gorski, MD PhD FACS - http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/
Dr. David Gorski is a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit specializing in breast cancer surgery. For the last five years, he has been a prolific blogger as managing editor of Science-based medicine, consistently ranked as one of the top 10 medical blogs.

Michael Shermer, PhD - http://www.michaelshermer.com/
Dr. Michael Shermer is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. Shermer is also the producer and co-host of the 13-hour Fox Family television series "Exploring the Unknown." He has made numerous other television appearances and has written a number of books that attempt to explain why people believe weird things.

SCHEDULE Media are welcome to attend all events.

Monday Oct. 18 10:30 a.m. Ben Goldacre lectures students in room LEA 132 Leacock Building, McGill University

2 p.m. Press conference at the Faculty Club (Heritage Room) McGill University

5 p.m. Symposium with David Gorsky, Michael Shermer and Ben Goldacre Centre Mont Royal, 1000 Sherbrooke Street West

Tuesday Oct. 19 10:30 a.m. David Gorski lectures students in FDA Auditorium Adams Building, McGill University

6 p.m. Symposium with The Amazing Randi in Fieldhouse Auditorium Leacock Building, McGill University

INTERNET: http://www.mcgill.ca/science/trottier-symposium/
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: The Oct. 18 symposium will be available via delayed webcast and taped for television.

CONTACT:
William Raillant-Clark
Media Relations
McGill University
514-398-2189
william.raillant-clark@mcgill.ca

McGill University is proud to host the sixth annual Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium, made possible through the generous support of Dr. Lorne Trottier and honouring his wish "to hold a public forum to inform, inspire debate and raise public awareness on contemporary issues confronting society today".

McGill University

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