Tim Caulfield

Timothy Caulfield

Professor of Health Law and Science Policy | Bestselling Author

Professor Timothy Caulfield is an unrivalled 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, a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and a research director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.

Over the past several years, Caulfield has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research endeavours that have allowed him to publish more than 350 articles and book chapters. His research focuses on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, and the public representations of science and health policy issues. The recipient of numerous academic and writing awards, Caulfield is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Caulfield also writes frequently for the popular press on a range of health and science policy issues and is the author of several bestselling books, including The Cure for Everything; The Vaccination Picture; The Science of Celebrity… Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?; and, most recently, Relax: A Guide to Everyday Health Decisions with More Facts and Less Worry. He is also the host and co-producer of the award-winning documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, which aired in over 60 countries and is available for streaming on Netflix in North America.

The Science of Celebrity… Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?

Celebrities are everywhere! And this matters. Seriously. Research shows that popular culture has a profound influence on people’s health and that our ideals of beauty and success are framed by a celebrity-dominated worldview.

In this fun and provocative presentation, 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 increasingly 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: A Guide to Everyday Health Decisions with More Facts and Less Worry

In this presentation, Timothy Caulfield will explore all the things we 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.

Science-ploitation 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 “science-ploitation” has emerged as a significant health policy issue, one that is have an adverse impact on both individuals and healthcare systems throughout the world.

Infodemic! Is Misinformation Killing Us?

Cow urine, bleach, and cocaine have all been recommended as COVID-19 cures — all nonsense. The pandemic has been cast as a leaked bioweapon, a byproduct of 5G wireless technology, and a political hoax — all poppycock. And countless wellness gurus and alternative-medicine practitioners have pushed unproven potions, pills, and practices as ways to “boost” the immune system. Misinformation is absolutely everywhere.

The coronavirus isn’t just a pandemic, it’s an infodemic. It’s caused physical harm and financial loss, added confusion and distraction to an already chaotic environment, and made it even more difficult to implement the needed health policy initiatives.

How does this misinformation spread? Why do people believe it? What can we do as individuals and a community to fight back? Who can we trust? In this provocative presentation, Timothy Caulfield will explore these questions and more.

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
  • Cannabis