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One week from today in Montreal…


Well, this looks interesting. It’s the 2010 Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium at McGill University in Montreal. This year, the theme is Confronting Pseudoscience: A Call to Action. A certain “friend of the blog” will be speaking with Ben Goldacre and Michael Shermer on Monday, October 18 from 5 to 7 PM on the Threat of Pseudoscience. He’ll also be on Dr. Joe’s radio show on CJAD 800. On Tuesday, October 19, the ever-amazing Randi will speak on investigating paranormal claims.

If you happen to be in the Montreal area or can get there on October 18 and/or 19, come on over to McGill. It’ll be a rousing good skeptical time.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

27 replies on “One week from today in Montreal…”

I will definitely be in the audience! Hope you get to visit the city too; it’s really quite nice in the fall.

Damn, will be in Montreal the following weekend.. Good Luck, Montreal is a beautiful city and McGill’s campus is gorgeous!

Oh how I wish I could go! I graduated from McGill in the spring, I’m at grad school in CT now though and it’s a bit of a drive.

My best friend is still up there, I’ll make sure she goes and tells me all about it ūüôā

I’ve been reading for years and I’ve at last worked out what your surname is. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.

Wish I could be there, but it’s a bit far from civilisation (ie Australia).

Every time i heare about an intersting talk on the west coast I miss it because I’m in Montreal visiting McGill. Every time i hear about an intersting talk in Montral I’m on the west coast:(

Sounds like it’ll be a great lecture! I’ll be tantalizingly close, but not close enough to go ūüôĀ

Any chance it’ll be recorded and podcasted?

I never understand why this “friend” is always referred to in quotation marks. Do they not get along or something? Talk about cognitive dissonance.

Unfortunately I’ll miss the Monday talks because I have to stay at home taking care of the toddler at that time. ūüôĀ
But I hope I’ll be able to be there on Tuesday for Randi’s lecture and hopefully I will be able to meet your “good friend” and any of the regulars from here!

Unfortunately, my “friend” has to leave before Randi’s talk. It sucks, but he does have a day job that he has to get back to by Wednesday.

I will be there! So happy you’re–ahem–your friend is coming to Montreal! Tell him to come visit our epi department!

It’s CJAD 800, not 1010 by the way. And CJAD is a great way to contact a wide non-specialized audience.

Dangit, Orac. I live in Montreal. I’ve even been to Trottier Symposium talks before. But it’s too early in the evening! There’s no way I’m going to be able to make it from my job at the other end of town by 5!

Let those of us who can’t make it know when the webcast will be up and when it’ll be airing on Canal Savoir, okay?

Pablo @9

I never understand why this “friend” is always referred to in quotation marks. Do they not get along or something? Talk about cognitive dissonance.

I think it is because this “friend” often plagiarizes Orac’s posts, removes some of insolence and then puts them up on another website as his own work. This must cause a lot of animosity ūüôā

A friend of mine is going and I have asked him to rush the stage for autographs…

Would love to go. Probably have too much work to do at the house this weekend, though.

Sweet….I’ll try and make it for both of them. What is your friend doing after the lecture?

There’s no way I can sneak off to Montreal for this, alas. This country is just too big sometimes. My copy of “Bad Science” shall remain unautographed for the time being. Any chance of this “sense vortex” turning into a tour with some western dates? We have beer here too! (I can hope, right?)

I am looking forward to seeing “a certain friend of the blog” there on Monday. Can’t wait!

Gross! I guess that creepy idiot Fombonne will be there, too. Have fun with the Pro-pharma Symposium. Poor med students and researchers these days. They know what it is they have to say and do to get their grants!

Gross! I guess that creepy idiot Fombonne will be there, too. Have fun with the Pro-pharma Symposium. Poor med students and researchers these days. They know what it is they have to say and do to get their grants!

I don’t do this often because there is usually something that can be addressed, but you are a flaming idiot. Poor med students and researchers getting exposure to SBM, how ghastly. Meanwhile your lot is boo-hooing about the FDA finally cracking down on OTC medical tests and chelators that are deceptively labelled.

Take a look through the archives here, on SBM and peruse Bad Science (Ben Goldacre’s site). There are numerous pharma-critical posts. Oh wait, there is no one to spoon-feed it to you and break it down into little words, your loss.

On this week’s Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast, one of the speakers listed above, Dr. Ben Goldacre, rips into pharmaceutical companies. He cites a study by some German researchers who got to see a company’s unpublished studies, and that it shows a depression medication was really not effective.

Even though it is the spoken word, I doubt that is spoon feeding enough for jen.

Comment by jen blocked. [unkill]√ʬĬč[show comment]

Ahh, peace and quiet…

Also, yes, video of this event is required for those of us who can’t make it to Montreal. I’d love to go, but it’s a bit expensive to get all the way across the country and my chemistry lecture/lab runs from 5:30 until 9:20 Mondays…

The good news is that you can access a video of this event here:
(day one)
and here: (day two).

William Raillant-Clark
Communications Officer, Media Relations
Agent de communications, Service des relations avec les médias
McGill University РUniversité McGill
[email protected]
514-398-2189 (office/bureau)

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