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From time to time, Private Eye Magazine takes a look at university vice-chancellors (aka presidents/rectors/principals) in its High Principals column.

The current issue (No, 1239, 20, Feb – 5 Mar, 2009) features Professor Geoffrey Petts, vice-chancellor of the University of Westminster,

Well well. Who’d have thought such things were possible?


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11 Responses to Crystal balls. Professor Petts in Private Eye

  • Alan Henness says:

    Well, well indeed! Things are looking up – it may bring their woo courses to a wider audience (no offence DC!).

    However, on second thoughts, what’s the demographic of Private Eye readers?

  • John Hooper says:

    I have no idea what the demographic of the Eye is but the magazine itself is not massively in favour of woo, presumably in the same way it is dismissive and critical of most cant.

    The last edition had an article on His (Self-)Righteous Homeopath Prince Charlatan and his commitment to quackery in general and referenced Andy Lewis at the Quackometer site.

    Lets face it – apart from banning it you might as well take the piss out of it. Quacks take the piss out of their clients (and on occasion feed it back to them).

    What sort of idiot would fall for that – “drink this glass of your urine and give me £200 and your holistic energy levels will be restored thus curing you of cancer, AIDS, cold etc”.

  • tonysidaway says:

    John Hooper’s comment above about urine therapy was unfair. Just as we pay a plumber for knowing precisely when and how to hit the water tank with a hammer, the clients pay these chaps for knowing precisely when and how to take the piss.

  • theallseeingbeing says:

    I work at the University of westminster in the Biosciences department. Alas to increase the scientific content of these courses has lead to them merging with our department, to become the department of biosciences and intergrated health. It seems likely that our human performance laboratory is going to lose some equipment in order to make some floor space for these woo artists. its a disgrace. Though every teaching resource I find will be fowarded to the relevent sources!

  • andrew says:

    “What sort of idiot would fall for that ” – well the sick and the vulnerable, especially those drven to depair by sleeplessness and pain, the 15% of the population with lower IQs, the guillible and naive, passive people who are easily bullied and cajoled. young and inexperienced people. The mentally ill. People who are easily manipulated.

    The worst thing about quackery is the exploitation of vulnerable people, together with the inherent dishonesty and poor influence on the way we think.

    I agree humour is a good counter weapon though.

  • Moochie says:

    Andrew, you are quite correct, of course. And there are enough mercenary bastards out there to ensure that whatever level of impoverished income these people earn or are awarded each month will fall into the greedy, grasping hands of said mercenary bastards.

    The best way to combat these thieves is a) realistic laws and their enforcement, and b) exposure. These rats have managed to hide for far too long. It is high time they were held to account.

  • […] vice-chancellor of Westminster, Prof Geoffrey Petts, made into the pages of Private Eye (see Crystal balls. Professor Petts in Private Eye when he announced that he wouldn’t get rid of the junk, but would make it more […]

  • […] Crystal balls. Professor Petts in Private Eye 19 Feb 2009. From time to time, Private Eye Magazine takes a look at university vice- chancellors (aka presidents/rectors/principals) in its High Crystal balls. Professor Petts in Private Eye […]

  • Dudeistan says:

    I have just returned from lecturing in India. I discussed UK university courses on complementary medicine with my Indian counterparts. They were aghast at finding out that such courses are available.

    In fact I discussed AltMed with many of the undergraduate and postgraduate students and they remarked that apart from ayurvedic medicine, very little complementary medicine existed and that ayurvedic medicine would never be considered as a science based degree course.

  • […] the Times, and Progress at Westminster). That earned Professor Petts an appearence in Private Eye Crystal balls. Professor Petts in Private Eye (and it earned me an invitation to a Private Eye lunch, along with Francis Wheen, Charlie Booker, […]

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