I have to admit that sometimes we skeptics do leave ourselves open to reproach by being sceptical about subjects just because it seems pretty obvious to us how crazy the notion is. Now this in itself is hardly sceptical, and is at best lazy and at worst arrogant. Today I feel little better about this after reading through reams of blogs on the subject of the 1023 Campaign reminding me that it’s just not realistic to expect individuals to sift through massive piles of peer-reviewed articles, written using medical, scientific, or statistical jargon, before they decide how best to treat their malaise. That is indeed why we should be able to look to those with proven scientific or medical knowledge to guide us, such as doctors, scientists, and pharmacists.
When dogs were used in a double-blind placebo-controlled study into the efficacy of a homeopathic remedy for fear of firework noises4 (scared dogs, did you say? Awwwww - you just have cant help but imagine them whimpering in the corner), it inspired Karen Overall to write a no-BS take on what vets and veterinary researchers should consider when dealing with data on the subject of homeopathy5. This study neatly addresses, amongst other things, the often-cited (and misunderstood) area of animals and the placebo effect, and is well worth a read.
“Reporting experiments in homeopathic basic research (REHBaR) – A detailed guideline for
authors” ’6 - Now okay, it is basically just the CONSORT guidelines for correct reporting of randomised controlled trails7 with examples given with a homeopathic basic research-friendly slant, but hey, at least they realize that without changing the way they present research, they will never be taken seriously.
So come on, what are you waiting for? Enough with the ‘pilot studies’ that never come full-term, and enough with the ‘case studies’ that are basically reported anecdotes. I’m here, waiting for that rush of excitement, the feeling of amazement I will surely get if someone can actually ‘turn science on it’s head” as has been promised by homeopaths for years. That’s exactly what I love about science.
Janis graduated with a PhD in Genetics from the