CANADALAND
#790 The Dubious Botanist
Steven Newmaster, a botany professor, once shone a light on the nutritional supplement industry and called them frauds. Now, the light is being shone on him by his colleagues. And boy, buckle up because this story is a wild ride.

A Canadian scientist wanted to demonstrate how he could use DNA barcoding to distinguish between different strains of cannabis; a pretty valuable thing to be able to do during the weed marketing gold rush.

To prove it, he just took a graph of U.S. arrest data, changed the title, and said ‘here, here’s my evidence.’

He did a lot more than that. And it might have all gone unnoticed, if not for some meddlesome researchers. Senior producer Sarah Lawrynuik gets into it.

Featured in this episode: Charles Piller, investigative journalist for Science Magazine; Ken Thompson, post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University; Paul Hebert, director of the University of Guelph’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

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Additional Music is by Audio Network

June 20, 2022
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