Going Undercover – Homeopathy

I don’t blog very often, but when I do……

Here in Salisbury we have a homeopathy college. I’ve mentioned it before, as it hires premises from St Thomas’s church, which sees no problem with telling lies about how the body works. I noticed that the college was running an open day, to recruit more students. The event was today, so I booked in. Continue reading


A Funny Idea of Ethics – from the clergy

The oldest church here in Salisbury is St Thomas’. The C of E is of course a major landowner, a tradition followed  here, with the church owning the adjacent St Thomas’ House just across the square. I knew that the prestigious (!) Salisbury Homeopathy College ran its events there, and recently learned about a course entitled “Autism Spectrum Disorder and Homeopathy”, conducted by one Mike Andrews who has written a book of the same title. Continue reading

I’m the Doctor – or am I?

Around the end of 2012 I was alerted  to the claims which Dr Jessica Middleton was making on her website, which she calls The Natural Doctor. A central issue was that Dr Middleton (now Dr Braid – see below) was clearly trading as a medical doctor, as evidenced by the name of her business, and the use of her medical degrees on the opening page of the site. However she does not practise anything which might be called conventional medicine, preferring to offer a wide range of diagnostics and `treatments’ which mostly lack robust evidence. I don’t intend to provide a detailed critique of what is on offer, as my purpose with this post is to explore how such a doctor is regulated. Meanwhile, I’m sure some of you will have your own views about an apparently intelligent young woman who was extensively educated in medicine, to a large extent at public expense, and now chooses not to utilise any of that training in service to the public.

Continue reading

Cash for Honours – again?

I am not conducting a campaign against the Royal Society of Medicine. I have attended lots of very nice meetings there, and the restaurant is excellent. So this second post about its rather seamier side must be read in the context that it isn’t a wholly bad organisation. I am indebted to my good friend Zeno for bringing to my attention a nice little earner which the RSM has had going for a while – the Wall of Honour. Continue reading

How hard it is to see the mote in one’s own eye

The ability of people in a position of responsibility to be blind to biasses and canards never ceases to amaze me. On 4th June last the Royal Society of Medicine hosted a symposium on `Integrated Oncology’. This was originally a three-day event, organised jointly by the RSM and the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, until the latter sank into its own financial Sargasso Sea. Continue reading

Misleading students – and not even courteous

My good friend David Colquhoun alerted me to the bizarre material being taught to science students at Thames Valley University. So in my capacity as a science writer (perfectly true) I asked the Vice Chancellor Professor Peter John for a statement. Continue reading

A university so open its brain fell out

There has always been a virtually seamless interface between the Open University (OU) and the BBC, as anyone watching the two Kathy Sykes TV series on CAM will have been reminded. A friend pointed me towards the OU website, and especially the pages that viewers were directed to for further information. I have copied below my email to the OU/BBC, in which I commented on the choice of links to external sites. The OU website text is in quotes. Continue reading

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