Mike Epstein is currently a government chemist, and an associate of the college and adjunct professor at Mount Saint Mary's College. He was formerly an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Hood College. Besides his interest in pseudoscience and pathological science, he is interested in developing innovative methods of chemical education, including problem-solving and cooperative learning methodologies. More information is available from his home page.
At the time of this paper, Maggie Bullard was a graduating senior at Mount Saint Mary's College. This summer, she received her Masters Degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Minnesota and plans a career in forensic science. Maggie's special project for the Mount Saint Mary's College analytical chemistry class involved the investigation of the pseudoscientific claim of "biotransmutation", the tranmutation of elements in biological systems. She compared the elemental content of seeds and plants grown from seeds using atomic absorption spectroscopy, and found no significant difference and therefore, no "biotransmutation".
At the time of this manuscript, Brad Buehler was a graduating senior at Mount Saint Mary's College. Brad graduated with a Masters Degree in Forensic Science from the George Washington University and is now working for a law firm in Washington DC, specializing in patent law. Brad's special project for our analytical chemistry class involved the investigation of the trace element profile of a brass foil that purportedly appeared on the skin of a Florida medium named Katie. Using ICP-MS, Brad attempted to establish a pattern in the collection of foil samples that could be related to date of collection over a two-year period.
At the time of this manuscript, Robin Kloster was a graduating senior at Mount Saint Mary's College. She is currently entrolled in graduate school in organic chemistry at the University of Arizona. She, along with two other students from the analytical class, Maggie and Brad, attended the meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration held in Charlottesville, VA in 1996 and wrote a paper describing her reactions to the science and pseudoscience presented at the conference.
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Page prepared by: Mike Epstein
Last Modified: 15 August 1999