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BSc courses in homeopathy are closing. Is it a victory for campaigners, or just the end of the Blair/Bush era?

The Guardian carries a nice article by Anthea Lipsett, The Opposite of Science (or download pdf of print version).

Dr Peter Davies, dean of Westminster’s school of integrated health, says

“he welcomes the debate but it isn’t as open as he would like.”

Well you can say that again. The University of Westminster has refused to send me anything much, and has used flimsy excuses to avoid complying with the Freedom of Information Act. Nevertheless a great deal has leaked out. Not just amethysts emit hig Yin energy, but a whole lot more (watch this space). Given what is already in the public, arena, how can they possibly say things like this?

“Those teaching the courses insist they are academically rigorous and scientific.”

There’s another remark from an unlikely source that I can agree with too.  George Lewith,  of Southampton University and Upper Harley Street, is quoted as saying

“The quality of degrees is an open joke . . . ”

Whatever next? [Note: Lewith told me later that he was quoted out of context by the Guardian, so it seems that after all he is happy with the courses. So sadly I have to withdraw the credit that I was giving him].

The article emphasises nicely the view that universities that run BSc degrees in things that are fundamentally the opposite of science are deceiving young people and corrupting science itself.

Professor Petts of Westminster seems to think that the problem can be solved by putting more science into the courses   The rest of the world realises that as soon as you apply science to homeopathy or naturopathy, the whole subject vanishes in a puff of smoke,  I fear that Professor Petts will have to do better,

 “He [DC] believes the climate is starting to change after the Bush/Blair era where people believed in things because they wished they were true. “This has been going on for a generation and it’s about time for a swing in the other direction,” he suggests.”

Well, one can always hope.


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10 Responses to The opposite of science

  • Alan Henness says:

    Well done, David.

    I find it incongruent that someone of Dr Peter Davies’s standing uses so many obviously fallacious arguments in support of his position.


  • Fantastic David – it’s great to see your persistence paying off to this extent.

    Keep up the inspiring work!


  • Slartibartfast says:

    Hmmmm….in the Guardian article George Lewith says:

    “A formal complaint of academic fraud made about me to my university and ethics committee was investigated for two years and dismissed.”

    I wonder what he means. If it’s the one case of which I am aware, his university failed to address key issues and simply declined to proceed further. The ethics committee never responded at all. But then I could be barking up the wrong tree.

  • Chris says:

    If Professor Petts and Peter Davies wish to assert that their courses are academically rigorous and scientific, then let them carry out a little experiment. All we need are some amethysts, some specimens of a substance of a similar density that does not emit high yin energy and some paper bags (or containers of another material opaque to light but permeable to yin energy). – I’ll let Petts and Davies choose the materials, they know more about yin energy than I do! All we need do then is to put either one amethyst or one specimen of the other substance into each bag, mix them about and invite Petts and Davies into the room to separate out the amethysts without opening the bags.

  • neoconnell says:

    Dr Peter Davies, dean of Westminster’s school of integrated health, says: “There’s been a certain amount of pressure [from lobbyists] but it hasn’t fazed us because we believe in what we’re doing.

    “I don’t believe they are all wrong or this is just a placebo effect.”

    There we are then. Belief is all you need.

  • Mojo says:

    At least they didn’t airbrush your pipe this time.

  • Alan Henness says:

    The University of Westminster can’t decide if homeopathy is woo or not!

    Their Student Health Team had recommended homeopathy for hay fever, but I complained and they’ve removed it from their website! See my post on Think Humanism for full details:


  • Alan
    That is hilarious. Usually it is HR/occupational health that advocate this nonsense, as it was in Leicester. But they listened to reason and removed it while the “academics” are still running degrees in it.

    It seems that the vice-chancellor, Geoffrey Petts, needs some advice on joined-up thinking.

  • […] The vice-cnancellor of Westminster, Professor Geoffrey Petts, with whom the buck stops, did have an internal review but its report was all hot air and no action resulted (see A letter to 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, Ken Livingstone . . ). It also earned Petts an appearence in the Guardian (The opposite of science). […]

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