Reminder: Royal Society member and noted skeptic Dr. David Colquhoun at U of T TONIGHT

Tonight the University of Toronto Secular Alliance, Freethought Association of Canada, Centre For Inquiry Ontario, and Skeptics Canada are teaming up with University College London professor, Royal Society member, and noted skeptic Dr. David Colquhoun to present Science in an Age of Endarkenment: Scientific Fraud, Quackery, Religion and University Politics at the University of Toronto. This is the UTSA’s feature presentation for the 2007/08 academic year and will be a must-see for skeptics and scientists in the Toronto area.LEADING SCIENTIST DEFENDS ACADEMIC FREEDOM, DEBUNKS ALTERNATIVE

Toronto, Ont. (January 6, 2008)—The University of Toronto Secular
Alliance, in coordination with the Centre for Inquiry-Ontario, will
present Science in an Age of Endarkenment – Scientific Fraud,
Quackery, Religion and University Politics
with Dr. David Colquhoun,
Fellow of the Royal Society, at 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 25 at the
University of Toronto’s McLeod Auditorium, 1 King’s College Circle.  A
catered reception with the speaker will precede the event from 5:00 to
6:30 pm at the Centre for Inquiry Ontario at 216 Beverley St.

Dr. Colquhoun will be available to conduct interviews on Friday
January 25. The press is invited to the reception before the main
event from 5pm-6:30pm at 216 Beverley St.

Increasing numbers of Canadians are turning to the use of
complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) like homeopathy and
chiropractic, yet many of these controversial treatments remain
unproven and based on pseudoscience.

Public institutions are becoming increasingly involved in the
regulation and administration of education of CAM products and
therapies. In 2006, the Ontario government passed legislation to
regulate the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and in
2007 Ryerson University became the first publicly funded university in
Ontario to offer training in TCM. Yet the scientific and medical
communities remain critical of these practices.

In the UK a number of universities offer full Bachelor of Science
degrees in alternative medicine. Dr. David Colquhoun, longtime critic
of CAM in academia, has written extensively on the topic including a
recent publication in Nature. Dr. Colquhoun runs a popular weblog
( devoted to criticism of scientific fraud
and pseudoscience, with a particular focus on CAM.

In 2007 Dr. Colquhoun was forced to remove his website after the
husband of a British herbalist complained to the provost of University
College London, where Dr. Colquhoun is an esteemed professor of
pharmacology. This resulted in an outcry from the global scientific
community, citing an infringement of Dr. Colquhoun’s academic freedom
and the sacrifice of science for political purposes. Two weeks later,
Dr. Colquhoun’s website was reinstated.

The University of Toronto Secular Alliance welcomes Dr. Colquhoun
January 25 for a presentation on alternative medicine, science
education, and academic freedom.

About the speaker:
Dr. David Colquhoun is a research professor of pharmacology at
University College London (UCL). He previously held the A.J. Clark
chair of Pharmacology at UCL, and was the Hon. Director of the
Wellcome Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology.

The University of Toronto Secular Alliance is one of Canada’s leading
campus-based organizations dedicated to promoting a secular and
humanistic worldview. It aims to promote science, reason and critical
inquiry, and the importance of evidence and freedom of inquiry in
issues relevant to the University of Toronto and beyond.

The Centre for Inquiry-Ontario, located in downtown Toronto, is
Canada’s premiere venue for humanists, skeptics and freethinkers.  In
operation since March 2007, CFI hosts a wide range of educational
programs, social and community services, multimedia initiatives and
research and publication projects.

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