Past Meetup

Marijuana, Microbes & Milk: Science and Public Health Policy

Hosted by Chicago Skeptics

Public group

This Meetup is past

13 people went

Location image of event venue


The Illinois Science Council is partnering with the Illinois Humanities Council to offer a free public program addressing science topics in the news. Drs. Jack Herrmann and Yvette Johnson-Walker from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne College of Veterinary Medicine will shine a bright scientific light on topics we see in headlines. The goal is to provide “news you can use” by presenting evidence based on the current scientific consensus – which may not jibe with current public health policy. There will be plenty of time for audience questions. (Samples of the discussed products will not be provided.)

Event is FREE and open to the public, but seats are limited, so registration is recommended at

• What are the broad health implications of legalizing marijuana?
• What does the chemical THC in marijuana really do? Is there more or less of it than in the plants of decades ago?
• Are there health benefits and/or risks from consuming raw milk?
• What about risks from exposure to antimicrobials in processed milk?
• What microbes should we be concerned about in our food supply and what can we do about it?

In this lively talk Drs. Herrmann and Johnson-Walker will challenge audience members to abandon common misconceptions related to real-life health issues and be critical thinkers who pay attention to the science. Dr. Jack Herrmann, a veterinarian with a master’s in public health degree, was recently named the 2014 recipient of the Leadership in Public Policy Award from the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges for his 20+ years of policy work at the local, state, and federal levels. Dr. Yvette Johnson-Walker has a veterinary degree and PhD and leads epidemiological investigations of infectious disease outbreaks on farms as well as training programs to prevent or respond to such outbreaks.

Both speakers are part of the Center for One Health Illinois, a program of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana developed to inform and improve public policy and public health. The philosophy of “one health” recognizes the interdependence of the health and well being of the human population, wild and domestic animals, and the natural environment.

Illinois Science Council is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes science and technology for the adult public through engaging events. ISC develops programs that highlight the research and practitioners of Chicago-area institutions. Public science events – ISC’s and others – are available at

The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, tax exempt, nonprofit organization that has been bringing people together to reflect, think critically, and actively exchange ideas since its founding in 1973. The IHC is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.