US Blogger hits Aussie Shores to Celebrate National Science Weekcarlysiebentritt
She has swallowed fifty homeopathic sleeping pills in one go, and taken on one of the US’s biggest talk show hosts – all in the name of debunking myths masquerading as science. Yvette d’Entremont will be National Science Week’s international guest in Victoria.
Earlier this year Yvette d’Entremont was just a popular blogger known as the Science Babe, thanks to her Facebook page started last August. Her profile went viral after she wrote an article critiquing the New York Times bestselling author, Vani Deva Hari also known on her blog as the Food Babe.
Since then she has become an outspoken, and irreverent, blogger on all fads claiming to be scientifically based. With a background in analytical chemistry, forensics and toxicology her SciBabe blog (the title Science Babe was already taken) has quickly expanded to expose the myriad health claims made in the media – such as whether you can cure cancer by eating particular foods, homeopathic worming treatment for pets and whether juice detoxes actually do (detox.)
From Massachusetts, Yvette is a 31 year old scientist who uses profanity, self deprecation and often hilarious language to explain and debunk everyday myths propagated by everyone from the US talk show host, Dr Oz, to peddlers of juice cleanses. And she’s not beyond the odd attention-grabbing stunts in the name of science: such as when she and a friend made “the sleeping pills video: to pressure pharmacies to stop selling homeopathic remedies next to actual pharmaceuticals. She swallowed fifty of the pills without any side effects. The video went viral.
Yvette first learnt about food activist bloggers when her own health problems sent her to Dr Google. She came across the Food Babe, who urges followers to go on the offensive against companies that use scary-sounding food additives. Yvette argues that many additives, unappealing as the Food Babe makes them sound, are not dangerous when used appropriately. “(Food Babe) takes innocuous ingredients and makes you afraid of them by pulling them out of context,” Yvette said in her anti-Food Babe blog. (For instance Ms Hari had complained that the air pumped into aircraft cabins was “mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50 per cent”. The atmosphere is 78 per cent nitrogen, Yvette countered in her blog).
While in Victoria for National Science Week Yvette will also discuss how the Science Babes of the world – with their youth, overblown outrage, dirty jokes and all – might help forge a new relationship between their field and the public, which for so long has viewed scientists as alien beings in lab coats.