After a busy and late day yesterday, I didn’t have any gas left in the tank, if you know what I mean, to produce Insolence as epic as my posts about The Food Babe and cries of antivaccine activists of “Help, help! I’m being repressed!” Or maybe I should say that Orac’s power supply is drained and his Tarial cells need recharging.
Sometimes, however, serendipity happens. As you might have seen in the news, everybody’s favorite Quacktitioner Royal (His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales) is in the United States for a visit. I wrote about it last month, and—miracle of miracles!—someone at Slate.com was interested, so much so that I was asked to do an article about Prince Charles and his love of medical quackery. So I did. And it was published yesterday. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Prince of pseudosciece.
As an adult, the Prince of Wales has been outspoken in his support for quackery like homeopathy and other forms of alternative medicine, often using his official role to promote that advocacy. One glaring example of Prince Charles’ advocacy for “integrating” alternative medicine into conventional medicine occurred in 2006, when he addressed the World Health Assembly in Geneva to argue for the “integration” of “complementary therapies,” which he said “are rooted in ancient traditions that intuitively understood the need to maintain balance and harmony with our minds, bodies and the natural world” and that “modern medicine needs to accommodate a more integrated and holistic approach,” while advocating acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine. The address provoked an article in the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology Journal by its editor Gerald Weissmann sarcastically titled, “Homeopathy: Holmes, Hogwarts, and the Prince of Wales,” which described a prince “at war with science.” The speech also led British science to strike back. Anticipating Prince Charles’ points, 13 of Britain’s most eminent physicians and scientists published an “Open Letter: Use of ‘Alternative’ Medicine in the NHS”, which was very critical of efforts, supported by the prince, to integrate “complementary therapies,” including homeopathy, in the U.K.’s National Heath Service.
Read the whole thing! And come back tonight or tomorrow for new Insolence.