MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Hard to believe, but today it is 4 years that I wrote the first post on this blog. Quite honestly, I never expected that this would turn out to be such a fascinating past-time. These 4 years have been busy, entertaining and informative in equal measure:

  • I wrote more than 800 articles,
  • you published more than 22 000 comments,
  • the blog attracted over 1.6 million views,
  • one particular post was read > 600 000 times,
  • I got insulted hundreds of times,
  • we all learnt a lot (I hope),
  • I had to ban just a handful of individuals from commenting,
  • the blog got noticed and cited by people and institutions of influence from across the globe,
  • I never seem to run out of material.

In my very first post of 14/10/2012, I wrote: “…my blog is not going to provide just another critique of alternative medicine; it is going to be different, I hope. The reasons for this are fairly obvious: I have researched alternative medicine for two decades. My team and I have conducted about 40 clinical trials and published more than 100 systematic reviews of alternative medicine. We were by far the most productive research unit in this area. For 14 years, we hosted an annual international conference for researchers in this field. I know many of the leading investigators personally, and I understand their way of thinking. I have rehearsed every possible argument for or against alternative medicine dozens of times. In a nutshell, I am not someone who judges alternative medicine from the outside; I come from within the field. Arguably, I am the only researcher in this area who is willing [or capable?] to state publicly what is wrong with alternative medicine. This is perhaps one of the advantages of being an emeritus professor!”

Today, I still feel that this is probably true.

What is unquestionably true, however, is that I have fun doing this blog – and that is the main reason for continuing dedicating plenty of time to it. On this 4th anniversary, let me once again thank all of you for your contributions and for making this blog such an exciting experience.

 

 

12 Responses to Four years and not a dull moment!

  • Congratulations on reaching 4 years. I disagree heartily with a lot of what you’ve written, but I’ve also been challenged to question aspects of what I do which is healthy and important. I look forward to (largely) disagreeing with another 4 years-worth of provocative material!

  • Congratulations, Sir! I love your work and appreciate your effort,

    A daily reader – all the best!

  • Many happy returns. You do a fine job of education.

  • Thanks for all your work, Dr Ernst! I found this blog after reading your (& Simon Singh’s) excellent book Trick or Treatment.

    I still haven’t read your second book and I wanted to ask if the German edition is a translation from the English, or if it’s the original version.

  • Happy Anniversary! Thanks for being a rock of reason.

  • A penetrating light dispelling the fog of so-called alternative medicine, your blog remains one of the most valuable sources of critical knowledge on the subject anywhere in the world today. For those expressing an interest in the subject, I can think of no better resource to recommend.

  • Happy 4th anniversary Edzard! Thank you for your excellent, illuminating, educational, and well-written blog, very much enjoyed over the last 48 months and 800+ articles (and many 1000s of readers’ comments, including those of Dr Richard Rawlins who has made a couple of visits here to our local Bournemouth Sceptics in the Pub). I’m very grateful to yourself (and Simon Singh, Ben Goldacre, Andy Lewis, David Colquhoun, etc.) for helping me hone my critical thinking, arguing, and reasoning skills over the years! Hope to hear you in person one day; any plans for a speaking tour?

  • It is refreshing to read your thoughtful, reality based comments, revelations and exposures of pseudo health care. I just wish more medical professionals and patients would see your posts since many are misinformed of the myths of the alternative universe.

  • Hi Edzard, thanks for all the work and time you must have put into this blog over the years. You do a fantastic job of challenging the creeping normalisation and acceptance of alternative medicine. The daft rationalisations as well as the venomous anger of CAMists on here has been a source of great amusement over the years. Keep up the good work.

  • Congratulations Professor and thank you for maintaining this educational and entertaining blog.
    It has meant much to me.
    I have undoubtedly spent more time in here than I should have (at least according to the wife 😉 ) but it has not in my opinion been time wasted. I have learnt much and developed many skills.

    – It has helped me develop and deepen my knowledge and understanding of health-related fraud, fabrication and fairy tales.

    – I have gotten to know lot’s of interesting people, not only the many intelligent and skilled critical observers of the “alternative world” but also the heterogenous horde of altmed proponents and peddlers of various incompetent health-services. A few (very few?) of them are polite and a pleasure to exchange words with, e.g. our acupuncturist friend Tom Kennedy to name a notable one.
    I wish there were many more of his kind, who under full name and photo have the courage to discuss their chosen creed and weather our inevitable volleys of disapproving projectiles. Alas many are neither pleasant nor enlightening. Some are genuinely rude and repulsive and I marvel at your (Prof. Ernst’s) composure when confronted by the vile vitriol that sometimes permeates the parley.

    – It has stimulated me to several in-depth studies of a particular field, such as the history of acupuncture.

    – Not the least have my sessions here given me a great opportunity to hone my competence in written English. My vocabulary has evolved and matured thanks to my computer’s wonderful built in dictionary and thesaurus.

    -I have gotten somewhat better at not feeding the trolls, who otherwise pestilently attain the character of a sticky plaster that is difficult but necessary to get off one’s fingers 🙂

    – Last but not least I have been obliged to refresh my mastery of the multiplication table and other basic mathematical skills required for successful submission of comments 😀

    And lastly Professor, thank you for your books, all of whom I have enjoyed with appreciation.

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