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Recap: Geoffrey Ozin's 'Jar of Fears' lecture kicks off Concordia's Science Odyssey

By Andrew Anderson


Throughout Concordia's Science Odyssey, students will be blogging about their Odyssey experiences. Andrew Anderson is an BSc student who just completed his third year with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, attended the Odyssey's opening night eventa keynote speech by Canadian nanoscience pioneer Geoffrey Ozin.

May 12, 2017

The Science Odyssey started off strong today at Concordia's LB Building. The topic of the keynote involved everyone’s favorite greenhouse gas: CO2. Now, I know, CO2 and global warming are topics which are unavoidable (and quite frankly have started to annoy certain people), but the keynote given by Dr. Geoffrey Ozin did not fall within your average global warming talk!

Jar small

In ‘Jar of Fears: Do We Fight CO2, or Embrace it?’ Ozin argued that instead of fearing CO2, the scientific community should take on a fresh new perspective, examining how we can transform CO2 from a waste product into a commodity. He argues that we are nearing a climatic catastrophe, and that everyone needs to be on board. This includes politicians and industry who need to realize that money can be made from taking atmospheric CO2 to mass-produce methanol. This could lead to more funding for research into renewable energy as well as one important step in the transformation of the industry.

A win-win for everyone? Not all in attendance agreed. Ozin faced a few dissenters during the Q & A session, most notably Concordia’s own Damon Matthews, who questioned whether marketing products generated from CO2 really represents a solution to the climate problem. Ozin countered that he is not saying it is the only solution, but that it is part of what needs to be done to avert catastrophe.

Dr. Ozin, a Brighton-born, now-Canadian chemist, gave a provocative perspective on greenhouse gas, global warming, and how this challenge must be presented to the public and to industry if we want them to truly change the fate of our planet.

Ultimately, Dr. Ozin says he’s trying to change the world, and hopes by giving talks like this he will inspire others to engage in the debate.

Join us for many more Science Odyssey events in the days to come! More information can be found at 

3D medical background with virus cells

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