The diversity of medical practices and theoretical frameworks currently thriving across the world

Alex Davenport went to the Science Museum (the one in South Kensington, you know), and found the 5th floor devoted to quackery.

It matters because the SM is supposed to promote science and understanding, not fuel an ever increasingly tiresome debate between those that painstakingly research and collect data and those that appear to pick any old idea then try to convince people it works.

That’s what I would have thought.

The homeopathy stand tells the case study of a girl who had allergies from the age of 3-5 (what are these allergies?) and they say that she was cured by homeopaths.  That’s right, they categorically state that homeopathy helped her.

Yikes.

A museum staffer did a blog post in response, with an official statement from the museum.

In our ‘Living Medical Traditions’ section of the Science and Art of Medicine Gallery we take an anthropological and sociological perspective on medical practices. We reflect patient experience in a global setting. We do not evaluate different medical systems, but demonstrate the diversity of medical practices and theoretical frameworks currently thriving across the world.

Our message in this display is that these traditions are not ‘alternative’ systems in most parts of the world. Instead they currently offer the majority of the global population their predominant, sometimes only, choice of medical care. We do not make any claims for the validity of the traditions we present.

Well not in the sense of having banners saying “This stuff really works!” – but what about that stand that says homeopathy cured a child of allergies? That looks like a claim for validity to my untutored eye. David Colquhoun was entirely unconvinced. So was Simon Singh. So were lots of other people.

More via Martin Robbins.

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