Month: January 2009

Yes We Can! We Can Abolish the NCCAM! Part II

Pseudoscience and Dishonesty, continued: “Reliable Information”? In the previous post, we examined misrepresentations by the late National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Director Stephen Straus and Margaret Chesney, written in 2006 as a rebuttal to a critical article by Donald Marcus and Arthur Grollman in Science magazine. Here, we continue. According to Straus and Chesney: Before the establishment of NCCAM,...

/ January 31, 2009

Reality Deniers

“You have an irrational belief in rational thought.” ~Dr David Scholes, directed towards me. “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” ~T.S. Eliot I just finished the book Mathematical Cranks by Underwood Dudley, part of a trifecta of skeptical mathematics books. Doctor Dudley is a professor of mathematics at Depau University and a connoisseur of cranks with a mathematical bent. What is a...

/ January 30, 2009

The Many Faces Of Snake Oil

It is my unhappy duty to reveal yet another depressing example of dishonest gain in medicine. This time, however, patients were not the only victims. Many healthcare professionals, including physicians, were prey to what has been called “an intellectual property ponzi scheme.” In a press release dated January 28, 2009, the HealthCentral Network announced the acquisition of a company called Wellsphere from...

/ January 29, 2009

More Data on Vaccine Safety Amid New Outbreaks

The more recent issue of the Journal Pediatrics contains two article providing further evidence for the safety of vaccines and is published amid news reports of recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in those who chose not to vaccinate over unwarranted fears. This highlights the need to continue our PR battle against the antivaccinationist movement that seeks to spread pseudoscientific fears about vaccine...

/ January 28, 2009

Psychiatry-Bashing

Psychiatry is arguably the least science-based of the medical specialties. Because of that, it comes in for a lot of criticism. Much of the criticism is justified, but some critics make the mistake of dismissing even the possibility that psychiatry could be scientific. They throw the baby out with the bathwater. I agree that psychiatry has a lot of very dirty bathwater,...

/ January 27, 2009

Historic College of Pharmacy to Honor Homeopathy Leader

I am a graduate of the institution known formerly as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (PCP&S) – the first college of pharmacy in North America, established in 1821.  The college, now called University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, counts among its alumni John Wyeth, Silas M. Burroughs, Sir Henry Wellcome, several members of the Eli Lilly and McNeil families, and...

/ January 26, 2009
nccam-logo

Dismantling NCCAM: A How-To Primer

Two of the earliest posts I wrote for Science-Based Medicine were entitled The infiltration of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and “integrative medicine” into academia and The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): Your tax dollars hard at work. Both were intended as a lament over how not only is pseudoscientific quackery, much of it based on a prescientific understanding...

/ January 26, 2009

Yes We Can! We Can Abolish the NCCAM!

…and in so doing, President Obama, you and we would abolish the NIH’s second most prodigious squanderer of precious research funds! Surprise: The National Cancer Institute (NCI) spends slightly more on humbug than does the Center created for that purpose. All told, the NIH squanders almost 1/3 of a billion dollars per year promoting pseudoscience. I’ve decided to add my two cents to the recent groundswell of demand...

/ January 23, 2009

More on the Bravewell issue

Being on the West Coast places me (and Harriet?) at disadvantage in responding to recent developments, as I find out about them later in the day, if that day. (Retirement doesn’t help.) First I had some comments on the WSJ article on “CAM,” the NCCAM by Steve Salerno and the response by the pseudoscince leadership. The 4-author response revealed political tactics used...

/ January 22, 2009

President Obama – Defund the NCCAM

As part of President Obama’s new approach to politics, with the promise of making it more transparent, his transition team solicited ideas from the public at change.gov. On this site anyone could post an idea and everyone could vote proposals up or down. Apparently the most popular ideas will be given some consideration. It’s an interesting blend of democracy and representative government....

/ January 21, 2009