Category: Medical Academia

Quackademic medicine update: UC Irvine reneges on promise of scientific rigor

In 2017, UC Irvine promised that the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute would be "rigorously evidence-based". A recent review discovers plenty of pseudoscience.

/ February 27, 2020

Scientific Fraud in China

There is a systemic problem with fraud in Chinese medical science. The problem goes all the way to the top.

/ November 27, 2019

The Cleveland Clinic publishes a study claiming to show benefits from functional medicine. It doesn’t.

Last week, the Cleveland Clinic published a study purporting to show that functional medicine improves health-related quality of life. Not surprisingly, on closer examination, there's a lot less to the study than meets the eye, and its results are quite underwhelming.

/ October 28, 2019

Woo versus Wikipedia

Love it or hate it, Wikipedia is a main go-to rough and ready source of information for millions of people. Although I've had my problems with Wikipedia and used to ask whether it could provide reliable information on medicine and, in particular, alternative medicine and vaccines, given that anyone can edit it, I now conclude that Wikipedia must be doing OK, at...

/ October 14, 2019

For-profit stem cell clinics, universities, and “pay-to-play” clinical trials for autism

Stem cell therapies show great promise, but as yet the vast majority of that promise has not been validated in rigorous clinical trials. Unfortunately, for-profit stem cell clinics are running clinical trials that require patients to pay to be part of it. These trials are not rigorous. Even more unfortunately, it appears that some universities are also running "pay-to-play" clinical trials that...

/ July 29, 2019
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities inducts Yehuda Shoenfeld

The Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities elects antivaxer Yehuda Shoenfeld to its ranks

Yehuda Shoenfeld is an Israeli scientist who has promoted the idea that adjuvants in vaccines cause ASIA, Autoimmunity/Autoinflammation Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants, a vaguely defined catch-all diagnosis that encompasses vague symptomatology and unproven links to certain autoantibodies, all caused by adjuvants in vaccines, especially aluminum. Last week, Shoenfeld was elected to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, an embarrassment to the...

/ July 1, 2019

Is Dentistry Science Based?

A recent article in The Atlantic claims that dentistry is not science-based. Is it right? Nah.

/ May 17, 2019

Are placebo effects genetically determined?

We frequently write about placebo effects here at SBM because understanding placebo effects is essential to understanding a lot of clinical trial science and, most relevant to the topics of this blog, how those promoting unscientific medicine misunderstand and misuse placebo effects to promote quackery. Last week, The NYT published an article asking if placebo effects are genetically determined. The evidence supporting...

/ November 12, 2018
Homeopathy, naturopathy, and acupuncture at the University of Michigan

The Integrative Oncology Scholars Program: Indoctrinating the next generation of “integrative oncology” believers

"Integrative oncology" involves "integrating" pseudoscience, mysticism, and quackery with science-based oncology and co-opting science-based lifestyle modalities as "alternative" in order to provide cover for the quackery. Unfortunately, my alma mater, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is running a course to indoctrinate 100 health care professionals in the ways of "integrative oncology." The Trojan horse of "lifestyle interventions" and "nonpharmacologic treatments for...

/ October 22, 2018

A whole issue of JACM devoted to “integrative oncology” propaganda? Oh, goody.

Last week, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a Special Focus Issue on "integrative oncology." In reality, it's propaganda that promotes pseudoscience and the "integration" of quackery into oncology.

/ October 1, 2018