Cover: Quack Quack: The Threat of Pseudoscience by Dr. Joe Schwarcz

Quack Quack: The Threat of Pseudoscience

Schwarcz, Dr. Joe

  • Let the one and only Dr. Joe battle pseudoscience and cast a life preserver out to all those drowning in a sea of misinformation

    “Ultimately, the author successfully demonstrates how claims should be queried and analyzed before they are accepted.” — Library Journal

    We are in a crisis. A tsunami of misinformation and disinformation is threatening to engulf evidence-based science. While quackery — loosely defined as the spread of false “knowledge,” often accompanied by various versions of “snake oil” — is not a novel phenomenon, it has never posed as great a threat to public health as today. COVID-19 has unleashed an unprecedented flurry of destructive information that has fueled vaccine hesitancy and has steered people toward unproven therapies. Conspiracy theorists have served up a distasteful menu of twisted facts that create distrust in science.

    In Quack Quack, Dr. Joe Schwarcz, who has been battling flimflam for decades, focuses on the deluge of anecdotes, cherry-picked data, pseudoscientific nonsense, and seductive baseless health claims that undermine efforts to educate the public about evidence-based science. The wide scope of the topics drawn from past and present aims to cast a life preserver to people drowning in a sea of misinformation.


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  • Dr. Joe Schwarcz is the director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, which has the mission of separating sense from nonsense. He hosts a radio show, appears on television, writes a regular newspaper column, and has authored 18 bestsellers. Dr. Joe is also an amateur magician and lives in Montreal, QC.

  • Published: September 2022

    ISBN: 9781770416581

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 in.

    Pages: 256


“In his latest book, Quack Quack, Joe Schwarcz provides what can best be described as an encyclopedia of pathological science, past and present. He counterpoints his background as a clever amateur magician with his duty as a science commentator. When conventional medicine offers no hope for a terrible illness, we all will look anywhere for anything. Joe’s own experience makes him no exception. But in the end, we must remain rational, something that online echo chambers have made more difficult. Joe’s twenty-five rules for dealing with information and misinformation could well be printed on a wide bookmark for this book (and others) as a continuing reminder for us all to remain alert.” — Ben Selinger, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Australian National University

“The book is a delight to read. You will be surprised, educated, and most of all, entertained. I highly recommend it, even for those of you who think you already know a lot about science, pseudoscience, quackery, and human error. ” — Science-Based Medicine

“In his usual inimitable fashion, Joe Schwarz weaves tales of pseudoscience and quackery, showing how modern quackery is very similar in many ways to quackery from decades and even hundreds of years ago. The details change, but the core concepts behind quackery tend to remain disturbingly the same, as do the sales techniques. It’s an informative and entertaining read for anyone interested in recognizing quackery when they see it.” — David H. Gorski, Professor of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine