Timothy Caulfield

Speaker


Timothy Caulfield

Professor of Health Law and Science Policy | Author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?

Professor Timothy Caulfield is an unrivaled communicator who debunks myths and assumptions about innovation in the health sector—from research on stem cells to diets to alternative medicine—for the benefit of the public and decision-makers. He is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, and a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. He has been the Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta since 1993.

Over the past several years, Professor Caulfield has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research endeavours that have allowed him to publish over 300 articles and book chapters. He is a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation and the Principal Investigator for a number of large interdisciplinary projects that explore the ethical, legal and health policy issues associated with a range of topics, including stem cell research, genetics, patient safety, the prevention of chronic disease, obesity policy, the commercialization of research, complementary and alternative medicine, and access to health care.

Professor Caulfield is and has been involved with a number of national and international policy and research ethics committees, including the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee; Genome Canada’s Science Advisory Committee; the Ethics and Public Policy Committee for International Society for Stem Cell Research; and the Federal Panel on Research Ethics. He has won numerous academic awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

He writes frequently for the popular press on a range of health and science policy issues and is the author of The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness, Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash, and his most recent book, The Vaccination Picture.


Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture And Science Clash

Celebrities are everywhere! This matters. Seriously. Research shows that popular culture has a profound influence people’s health and that our ideals of beauty and success are framed by a celebrity-dominated worldview.  In this fun and provocative presentation, Professor Timothy Caulfield will examine what science tells us about the influence of popular culture. He will also debunk common health myths and provide practical, evidence-based, recommendations relevant to both healthcare professionals and to individuals seeking to live a healthy lifestyle.

Spinning Science: Getting to the Truth about Our Health

What is the truth about how to live a healthy lifestyle? Whether the issue is diet, exercise, sleep, gut health, genetics or emerging technologies, it has become increasing difficult to separate the real science from the nonsense. In this era of “fake news”, “alternative facts”, and conspiracy theories, critical thinking skills are essential. Indeed, the spread of misinformation has become a defining issue of our time. In this fun and provocative talk, Timothy Caulfield will examine the social forces that are twisting science and how we can all cut through the noise to get to the truth about our health.

Relax Dammit: Healthy and Happy in the Age of Anxiety

In this presentation, Timothy Caulfield will explore all the things we all stress about in a typical day, from when we get out of bed to how much coffee to drink to how our kids get to school to how we handle our email to how we can be more productive to whether we should sit on that dirty toilet seat. We make, and worry about, a thousand big and little decisions during our waking hours. Too often these decisions are dictated by concerns or beliefs about our world that simply aren’t true. These misperceptions impact our day-to-day decisions and, I will argue, unnecessarily stress us out and cause us to waste time and money.

Scienceploitation and the Rise of Science-y Unproven Therapies

These are exciting times in biomedicine. Research areas like stem cells, personalized medicine, and the microbiome are leading to promising new developments.  But too often the language of real science is used to market unproven therapies and health concepts. In this presentation, Timothy Caulfield will argue that “scienceploitation” has emerged as a significant health policy issues, one that is have an adverse impact on both individuals and healthcare systems throughout the world.

Additional Topics

  • Vaccination policy and the spread of vaccination myths
  • Evidence-based approaches to a healthy lifestyle
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • The limits of personalized medicine
  • The role of social media in the spread of misinformation
  • The marketing of unproven stem cell therapies
  • The control of human tissue and genetic information
  • Organ donation policy
  • Obesity policy