This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

German Homeopathy Companies Pay Journalist who Smears UK Academic

Professor Edzard Ernst attacked by paid writers.

A consortium of pharmaceutical companies in Germany have been paying a journalist €43,000 to run a set of web sites that denigrates an academic who has published research into  their products.

These companies, who make homeopathic sugar pills, were exposed in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in an article, Schmutzige Methoden der sanften Medizin (The Dirty Tricks of Alternative Medicine.)

This story has not appeared in the UK media. And it should. Because it is a scandal that directly involves the UK’s most prominent academic in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The newspaper accuses the companies of funding the journalist, Claus Fritzsche, to denigrate critics of homeopathy. In particular, the accusation is that Fritzsche wrote about UK academic Professor Edzard Ernst on several web sites and then linked them together in order to raise their Google ranking. Fritzsche continually attacks Ernst of being frivolous, incompetent and partisan.

The newspaper said,

It is simple to use Google to pillory someone: all it needs is a professional-looking Web page in which a person’s credibility is undermined. Then the name of the person to discredit should be mentioned in the text as often as possible. The page will be automatically ranked in the top results when someone searches for the person. For people whose credibility is their capital, such as journalists and academics, this digital character assassination is particularly devastating. [My translation]

Edzard Ernst was the first  Professor of Complementary Medicine and held the Laing Chair at the University of Exeter in South-West England. The chair was set up by Sir Maurice Laing in 1993 to provide  rigorous research into alternative medicines. Laing realised that high quality research was required if various forms of alternative medicine were to become mainstream. Ernst said in an interview that Laing believed that “it was more important to conduct good research to a standard that would be acceptable even to sceptics, than to bend over backwards in an attempt to generate positive findings”.

Read more


Read this article on the new RDF beta site.

TAGGED: DISHONESTY, PSEUDOSCIENCE


RELATED CONTENT

Betrayal

Eric MacDonald - Choice in Dying Comments

Betrayal

The Right’s Righteous Frauds

Frank Bruni - The New York Times 29 Comments

The Right’s Righteous Frauds

Just Say Yes…To Sexist Stereotyping?

Katherine Stewart - Ms. blog 36 Comments

Just Say Yes…To Sexist Stereotyping?

Family Battle Offers Look Inside Lavish...

Erik Eckholm - The New York Times 47 Comments

Family Battle Offers Look Inside Lavish TV Ministry

Science book delayed when someone...

GrrlScientist - The Guardian 37 Comments


Science book delayed when someone
notices it's written by creationists

MORE

MORE BY ANDY LEWIS

MORE

Comments

Please Login to RDFRS to Comment

Sign in to RDF

blog comments powered by Disqus