Trottier Symposium – Are We Alone?: The Search for Earth 2.0

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This year’s Trottier Symposium narrows in on the topics of the origin of life on Earth as well as the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. The third speaker is Dr. Sara Seager (MIT) who was named in Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential in Space in 2012.

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December 16, 2014 at 4:58 pm


Trottier Symposium – Are We Alone?: Postcards from Mars

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This year’s Trottier Symposium narrows in on the topics of the origin of life on Earth as well as the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. The first speaker is Dr. Jim Bell (Arizona State University, Cornell University).

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December 16, 2014 at 4:51 pm


Trottier Symposium – Are We Alone?: Looking for Technosignatures

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This year’s Trottier Symposium narrows in on the topics of the origin of life on Earth as well as the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. The second speaker is Dr. Jill Tarter (SETI Institute), who was named onf ot eh Time 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004 and Time 25 in Space in 2012. As well, she received a TED prize in 2009 and public service awards from NASA.

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December 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm


Alternative Medicine under the Microscope – Part II

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The seventh annual Trottier Symposium spotlights “Alternative Medicine.” Four world-renowned experts examine some of its tenets “under the microscope.”

Alternative medicine can be described as practices that are available to the public but which are not taught in conventional medical schools. The focus there lies on evidence-based methods and controlled experiments. Lack of evidence does not mean that a particular treatment cannot work; there may be alternative methods and practices worth pursuing. Alternative treatments can range from acupuncture to reflexology, and its practitioners range from energy healers to magnet therapists. Although risks tend to be low, there is always the danger of patients being seduced by unsubstantiated claims, possibly to the extent of forgoing evidence-based treatments.

Irrespective of one’s views on alternative medicine, there is no doubt that the subject merits attention and scrutiny.

Dr. Edzard Ernst is a former homeopathic practitioner who has become a vocal critic of alternative medical techniques that are not supported by scientific evidence.

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January 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm


Alternative Medicine under the Microscope – Part I

@ Health

The seventh annual Trottier Symposium spotlights “Alternative Medicine.” Four world-renowned experts examine some of its tenets “under the microscope.”

Alternative medicine can be described as practices that are available to the public but which are not taught in conventional medical schools. The focus there lies on evidence-based methods and controlled experiments. Lack of evidence does not mean that a particular treatment cannot work; there may be alternative methods and practices worth pursuing. Alternative treatments can range from acupuncture to reflexology, and its practitioners range from energy healers to magnet therapists. Although risks tend to be low, there is always the danger of patients being seduced by unsubstantiated claims, possibly to the extent of forgoing evidence-based treatments.

Irrespective of one’s views on alternative medicine, there is no doubt that the subject merits attention and scrutiny.

Dr. Paul Offit is one of the most public figures speaking out against the alleged relationship between vaccines and autism. Dr. Harriet Hall is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. Dr. Robert (Bob) Park is an Emeritus Professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park who has written pseudoscience, alternative medicine, and the creation/evolution debate.

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January 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm


Trottier Symposium — Confronting Pseudoscience: The Threat of Pseudoscience

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The 6th annual Trottier Symposium focuses on the difference between science and “pseudo” science. While real science accumulates facts and formulates testable theories to gain a unified understanding of the physical world, pseudoscience relies on anecdotes, ideology and cherry-picked data to support preconceived notions. Pseudoscience masquerading as real science can lead to troublesome consequences, particularly when it comes to matters of health. Unfortunately, aided and abetted by the Internet, pseudoscience has been growing by leaps and bounds. Outstanding, world-famous science communicators discuss various aspects of pseudoscience and provide guidance for separating sense from nonsense.

David Gorski, MD PhD FACS (Surgical oncologist; Managing Editor, “Science-based Medicine” Blog) and Michael Shermer, PhD (Scientific American columnist; Editor in chief, Skeptic magazine) share their wealth of experience and views on confronting pseudoscience.

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April 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm


Trottier Symposium — Confronting Pseudoscience: Investigating pseudoscientific and paranormal claims

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The 6th annual Trottier Symposium focuses on the difference between science and “pseudo” science. While real science accumulates facts and formulates testable theories to gain a unified understanding of the physical world, pseudoscience relies on anecdotes, ideology and cherry-picked data to support preconceived notions. Pseudoscience masquerading as real science can lead to troublesome consequences, particularly when it comes to matters of health. Unfortunately, aided and abetted by the Internet, pseudoscience has been growing by leaps and bounds. Outstanding, world-famous science communicators discuss various aspects of pseudoscience and provide guidance for separating sense from nonsense.

James Randi first rose to fame as The Amazing Randi, performing magic and escapes in the tradition of Houdini. His background as a conjurer led to a second career as the world’s premier investigator of paranormal and pseudoscientific phenomena. Randi’s investigations of medical frauds and purported psychics are legendary.

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April 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm


Trottier Symposium — Confronting Pseudoscience: Roundtable

@ Science & Technology

The 6th annual Trottier Symposium focuses on the difference between science and “pseudo” science. While real science accumulates facts and formulates testable theories to gain a unified understanding of the physical world, pseudoscience relies on anecdotes, ideology and cherry-picked data to support preconceived notions. Pseudoscience masquerading as real science can lead to troublesome consequences, particularly when it comes to matters of health. Unfortunately, aided and abetted by the Internet, pseudoscience has been growing by leaps and bounds. Outstanding, world-famous science communicators discuss various aspects of pseudoscience and provide guidance for separating sense from nonsense.

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April 1, 2011 at 11:50 am


Are Cell Phones and WiFi Harmful to your Health?

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There is growing public alarm about the possible harmful health effects caused by cell phones, microwaves, WiFi, etc. This concern has been fed by a wide array of misleading information on the Internet as well as various reports in the media. What does the real scientific evidence show?

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September 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm


Avoiding dangerous climate change: Geo-engineering or mitigation? (Part 2)

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Some scientists argue mitigation alone can no longer prevent dangerous levels of atmospheric CO2 and propose directly intervening in the climate system to counter the effects of greenhouse gas induced warming. Can we successfully manipulate the climate system to avoid dangerous climate change? Do we understand the global climate system well enough to determine the feasibility and risks involved? In this year’s Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium, climate scientists and a historian of science will discuss the scientific and social ramifications of geo-engineering the climate.

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March 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm