Is That A Fact?

Is That A Fact?

Frauds, Quacks, and the Real Science of Everyday Life

Book - 2014
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Organic is better for you .. no, it's not. Scientists just discovered a miracle weight-loss food... no, wait, it's actually bad for you. Schwarcz helps you separate fact from fiction amid the storm of misinformation that today's media throws at us.
Publisher: Toronto : ECW Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9781770411906
Branch Call Number: 500 SCH951I 2014
Characteristics: 285 pages ; 21 cm


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ksoles Sep 12, 2014

How do we know what we know? Scientific knowledge depends on ever-accumulating, ever-changing evidence; hence, we have varying degrees of certainty about different topics. In "Is That A Fact?", McGill professor and famous pseudo-science debunker, Joe Schwarcz, discusses the black, the gray and the white of prevalent "scientific" claims.

Beginning with an overview of quackery, Dr. Joe humorously recounts a meeting with an intuitive healer who told him she could “see” that his body was infested with worms, bacteria, mushrooms and viruses. He goes on to attack bogus cancer cures, double helix water and homeopathy before moving into the gray areas. Schwarcz contends that these claims, including the benefits of fish oil supplements and the dangers of pesticides, have some merit but he does critique the studies on which the claims are based. Finally, he covers the chemical bad guys like BPA and PVC and discusses why they don't worry him.

"Is That A Fact?" both informs and delights the reader. Throughout his lucid 4-5 page snippets, Dr. Joe interweaves chemistry with medicine, critical thinking and the scientific method. He sheds much-needed light on controversial topics and humorously rebuts money-hungry celebrity "experts."

ChristchurchLib Aug 13, 2014

"The annals of history are replete with examples of educated people who have succumbed to nonsense," declares Dr. Joe Schwarcz, chemist, science writer, and longtime radio host. Beginning with an impassioned plea for critical thinking in an era of pseudoscience, Schwarcz divides 60 areas of inquiry into three sections, based on scientific validity: black (unsubstantiated), white (factual), and gray (a blend of fact and falsehood). Readers who value factual accuracy and scientific validity and pride themselves on a healthy sense of skepticism may also enjoy physician Ben Goldacre's books, Bad Science and Bad Pharma. Science and Nature Newsletter August 2014.


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