Monday, May 13, 2024


Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Medicine, Science & Society

In this essay Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of the Office for Science and Society, University of Montreal tells us the truth about truth serums, notably the drug scopolamine.

Schwarcz begins by recounting a film adaptation of the novel, The Guns of Navarone. As Wiki points out there are important differences between the two stories. The official trailer from the film (3m 42s).

It is the mention of scopolamine in the film that caught Schwarcz's interest. In the essay he explores the chemistry, history and surprising uses of the drug as well as whether it forces people to tell the truth.
At the end Schwarz closes with a reference to another classic novel, Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, "in which detective Philip Marlowe gives a picturesque description of being doped with the drug." It was also made into a film and I found a trailer on Rotten Tomatoes (2m 21s).

Dr. Joe Schwarcz provided two versions, essay and video. Here, in the video series, The Right Chemistry (4m 48s),  Dr. Schwarcz, with some stage props, tells us about the uses and misuses of scopolamine.

Actually, I found it nice to have both versions.

Here's to truth, to science's way of thinking. In the words of Carl Sagan, "(science) is a way of skeptically investigating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility."

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