Why Do Chemicals Get Such a Bad Rap?

He's known to his students and fans simply as "Dr. Joe," but then Joe Schwarcz, professor of chemistry, has always kept things light, uncomplicated and a little magical, especially when pursuing his challenging goal: demystifying science for young learners and the public.

Joe has created a multi-faceted career in using his skill as a chemical scientist, magician, author, broadcaster, food expert and motivational speaker in communicating science to others in very interesting ways. This includes his role as Director of the Office for Science and Society at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he and his colleagues use their unconventional "Chemistry for the Public" lecture series to wow students and the public about chemistry and other areas of science, and how such knowledge can be applied to everyday life .

"Our mandate at the Office for Science and Society is to demystify science, separate sense from nonsense and hopefully foster critical thinking," says Joe. "When people are ill-informed about science, they are at risk of falling into the clutches of charlatans... unless we arm the public with enough informational weaponry to make sure that doesn't happen."

Here is an article written by Joe with a cautionary tale about a celebrity chef and his "science free" diet.

Joe says chemicals get a bad rap. Can you name some chemicals that improve our lives without causing any harm to us or the environment?

Read more about Joe here.

And watch this video interview with Joe discussing the role chemicals play in our every day lives.

More like this

Don't miss the opportunity to learn about the science of the paranormal from X-STEM Speaker Dr. Joe Schwarcz at the X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium on April 24 ! Hear from this noted professor of chemistry from Canada's McGill University and how he uses his multi-faceted skills as a chemical…
"Daddy, do you know where this cheese came from?" I absolutely love this video demonstrating that learning science can be - and should be - fun. Enjoy! This series is a result of a collaboration between broadcast media (NBC) and scientists (National Science Foundation.) From Eureka Alert:…
Guest Blog By Festival X-STEM Speaker and Expo Performer  Dr. Joe Schwarcz “Hey, aren’t you somebody?” the teenager queried as I got into the elevator. While I was pondering an appropriate answer to this deeply philosophical question, his crony spilled the beans: "Yeah, he's that guy who talks…
Homeopaths are funny. Really, that's the best description of them that I can think of right now. And I don't mean "funny ha-ha," either. An example of this popped up over the weekend in an attack on Dr. Joe Schwarcz of McGill University's Office for Science and Society. "Dr. Joe," as he likes to be…