Part of the Eastbourne Festival

Edzard Ernst

Wednesday, July 8 2015 at 7:30PM

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Devonshire Park,
College Road,
East Sussex
BN21 4JJ

Edzard Ernst

What's the talk about?

Please note that this talk is at the Towner Gallery, and starts at 7.30pm.

The cafe in The Towner  will be open for pre-talk drinks and bar snacks from 6pm onwards.

'A SCIENTIST IN WONDERLAND' is the story of my life as a doctor and a scientist. Despite a youthful ambition to become a jazz musician, I eventually studied medicine and became first a clinician and then a medical research scientist, taking up professorships in Germany, Austria and finally in England. My reverence for the pursuit of truth through the application of the scientific method, coupled with a growing interest in the history of medicine during the Nazi era, did not always endear me to my peers. In 1993, when I was I was appointed to the world's first chair in complementary medicine, this was an area that had rarely been studied systematically, and was almost entirely dominated by evangelic promoters of quackery - among them, famously, HRH Prince Charles. Many of  these enthusiasts exhibited an overtly hostile, anti-scientific attitude towards the objective study of their therapies. Clashes were inevitable, but the sheer ferocity with which advocates of alternative medicine would pursue their aims came as a profound surprise. My memoir provides a personal insight into the cutthroat politics of academic life and offers a sobering reflection on the damage already done by pseudoscience.

There will be copies of his latest book for sale, "A Scientist in Wonderland" for £7.50.

About the speaker:

Edzard Ernst is an academic physician and researcher specializing in the study of complementary and alternative medicine.

He was appointed Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, the first such academic position in the world.

He served as chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Vienna but left this position in 1993 to set up the department of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter.

He became director of complementary medicine of the Peninsula Medical School in 2002. Ernst was the first occupant of the Laing chair in Complementary Medicine, retiring in 2011.

Edzard's writing appeared in a regular column in The Guardian where he reviewed news stories about complementary medicine from an evidence based perspective. Since his research began he has been seen as "the scourge of alternative medicine" for publishing critical research that exposes methods that lack documentation of efficacy.