4 Columns That Separate Sense from Nonsense in Science

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Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, lives out the university’s mission: to separate sense from nonsense. Schwarcz is renowned for his engaging lectures — from chemistry of food to the connection between the body and the mind.

He’s also a columnist for European Seed, where he provides thought-provoking commentary. Want to know what was on Schwarcz mind this past year? Read his four columns on European Seed.

Iron in Spinach

Mea culpa. I plead guilty to the crime I often accuse others of committing, namely not checking facts properly! Curiously, I would not have discovered my error had I not been doing some proper fact checking about claims that a nutritional supplement derived from the root of the maca plant can increase libido and alleviate menopausal problems.

The Wonders of DNA and Genetic Engineering

Dr. Joe Schwarcz

“Wow!” “Look at my DNA!” the exuberant little boy blurted out as he pulled the thread-like strands out of the test tube. Soon other excited voices chimed in as about two dozen children and a sprinkling of adults began to play with their own genetic material. We were all seated around tables in a laboratory at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, having been attracted by signs pointing towards the “Gene Scene.”

Putin’s Appetite for War Has the World Feeling Pangs of Hunger

“A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking, and in Central Park, you get rain instead of sunshine.” That memorable quote comes from Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park as he tries to explain how worldly events can be interrelated in a complex fashion. We now have just such a situation with the tragic war in the Ukraine.

Food, Glorious Food!

Just think about how much of our lives revolve around food. A lot! Consider how oftenconversations drift to when to eat, what to eat, what not to eat, where to eat, how much to eat and with whom to eat. To be sure, eating is one of the great pleasures of life, and so is talking about it. The attention paid to nutrition is well warranted. After all, besides water, food is the only raw material that enters our body. We are therefore constructed of what we eat!

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