Spinning Acupuncture

September 17, 2012 42

How should we read a scientific paper? A new study, published last week1, would suggest that it is a very bad idea to simply read the abstract and conclusions. Worse, it can be very misleading to rely on reports derived from press releases about the research. The study looked at how press releases included ‘spin’ about the results of a medical paper. The results were rather alarming. The authors defined [read more…]

Chekhov, Homeopathy and the Placebo Effect

September 4, 2012 233

What canĀ Anton Chekhov tell us about the placebo effect? Chekhov is best known as a great writer of short stories. But he was also a doctor and wrote many tales of medicine and doctors in everyday life. But recently, again, I have seen homeopaths claim that Chekhov “used [homeopathy] and swore by its curative effects”. No doubt, the source for such claims come from the American homeopathy entrepreneur, Dana Ullman. [read more…]