Two decades ago, Nathan Zohner, conducted a high-school science project where he made an elaborate and convincing argument to ban a chemical compound known as dihydrogen monoxide, or DHMO.
To do so, Zohner accurately reported several risks linked to DHMO use or consumption: it is indeed associated with metal rusting, potential burns when in contact with our skin, and can also lead to excessive urination and sweating. Data also exhibited that thousands of people in the U.S. alone died from it every year.
Over the years, Zohner’s work on DHMO was followed by other articles and videos, pointing out its danger and the need for regulation,. Indeed, as the main compound used in nuclear plants, and an essential ingredient of pesticides and herbicides, it is therefore regularly disposed of without any regulation.
Then why would we need 20 years to declare a ban on such a compound, or at least open a public debate about it?
Well, simply because dihydrogen monoxide is just a complicated name for H2O, or water.
At only 14 years-old, Zohner understood perfectly the concept of misinformation. His project, which was titled “How gullible are we?” and won the grand prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, shed light on the fact that we too often take information as we receive it, without further research, leading us to false conclusions.
Nicolas, Consultant, Leyton France