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'Dr. Joe' to Entertain and Inform in Science Lecture at ODU

Joseph Schwarcz

Joseph Schwarcz, a Canadian academic and media personality known for his highly visual and entertaining presentations that help educate the general public about science, will speak at Old Dominion University at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 22.

The lecture, titled "Hey! There Are Cockroaches in My Chocolate Ice Cream," is sponsored by the ODU College of Sciences and the Tidewater Alliance of Chemistry Teachers. This free and public lecture will be in the first floor auditorium of the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building.

Schwarcz is the director of the Office for Science and Society at McGill University in Montreal and has become a media personality - known as Dr. Joe - in Canada because of his writings and broadcast performances related to science.

He has written numerous books, including "Science, Sense & Nonsense" (2009), "Brain Fuel: 199 Mind-Expanding Inquiries into the Science of Everyday Life" (2008) and "An Apple a Day: The Myths, Misconceptions and Truths About the Foods We Eat" (2007). In addition, Schwarcz has been the author of a weekly column in the Montreal Gazette, the host of weekly radio shows in Montreal and Toronto and the star of television shows on Discovery Channel Canada.

The title of the presentation Schwarcz will make at ODU is based on a listener's misinterpretation of something he said on his radio show about a food colorant. Being on one end of a microphone and in front of television cameras for over 20 years has afforded him some fascinating insight into the public's perception of science, he says, adding that it also has given him the opportunity to separate sense from nonsense in areas ranging from nutrition and medications to cosmetics and pesticides.

He is an amateur magician, which puts sparkle into his presentations and helps him dissect magic tricks, explaining the science behind them.

Schwarcz, whose Ph.D. is in chemistry, is the winner of the American Chemical Society's James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry as well as the Royal Society of Canada's McNeil Medal for raising public awareness of science.

This article was posted on: April 7, 2010

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