A bridge too far? Western life sciences and chinese medicine 'ludicrous' bedfellows

David Colquhoun has poured scorn on a vacancy advertised by the University of Westminster for a systems biologist with an interest in "bridging the gap between Western life sciences and Chinese medicine".

August 26, 2010

The advert says the successful candidate will "work closely with colleagues in the life sciences as well as with clinicians from the East Asian medical tradition". Professor Colquhoun called the idea of explaining Chinese medicine with systems "ludicrous in the extreme".

Westminster closed its homeopathy course last year but said this was due to low student demand rather than widespread criticism from scientists.

Professor Colquhoun said the university still offered 10 different BScs in "pre-scientific forms of medicine" and was "determined to make itself a laughing stock by persisting in promoting junk science at a time when most other universities have realised the harm done to their reputations is not worth the income it generates".

In a statement, Westminster says its research into Chinese medicine is following the lead of "top research institutions" such as King's College London.

"The University of Cambridge has also entered into a three-year agreement to test the potential healing and anti-ageing properties of a number of products," the statement says.

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