Edzard Ernst was born in 1948. He went to school in Germany and the US and studied psychology and medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. In 1977, he qualified as a physician in Munich where he also completed his MD and PhD theses.
He was Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) at Hannover Medical School (Germany) and Head of the PMR Department at the University of Vienna (Austria). He came to the University of Exeter in 1993 to establish the world’s first Chair in complementary medicine. In 1999, he took British nationality and in 2022 he re-gained German nationality. Since 2012, he is Emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter and now lives in Cambridge, UK as well as in Brittany, France.
Professor Ernst is/was founder/Editor-in-Chief of three medical journals (‘Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies’, ‘European Journal of Physical medicine and Rehabilitation’ and ‘Perfusion’). He has been a columnist for many publications (BMJ, GP, MMW, PJ, The Guardian, The Independent, The Spectator, Publikum, Skeptic Magazine, etc.). His work has been awarded 17 scientific awards (most recent: John Maddox Prize 2015 and Ockham Award 2017) and two Visiting Professorships (Canada and USA). He served on the ‘Medicines Commission’ of the British ‘Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency’ (1994 – 2005).
According to Ioannidis et al Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators, he is currently ranked
- No 107 amongst ~160 000 most-cited scientists of all disciplines worldwide,
- No 70 amongst all scientists working in any medical field,
- No 1 amongst all researchers in the category of ‘Complementary & Alternative Medicine’,
He has published >1000 papers in the peer-reviewed medical literature (current H-Index=157), >50 books, translated into over a dozen languages, >100 book chapters. He has given > 700 invited lectures worldwide and supervised >50 MD and Ph.D. theses. He has also served as an expert witness in numerous legal disputes. In 2022, he was elected to become a member of the Academia Europaea.
During the last 25 years, Prof Ernst’s research focused on the critical evaluation of most aspects of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM). He does not aim to promote this or that modality; his goal is to provide objective evidence, reliable information, and critical assessments. This ambition does not endear him to many believers in SCAM. His blog is aimed mainly at:
- informing the public responsibly about SCAM,
- teaching critical thinking,
- preventing harm to vulnerable patients,
- amusing the reader.
Prof Ernst is not paid by anyone for his work on this blog and is not aware of having any conflicts of interest.
His most recent books are all written primarily for the lay readership:
- Charles, The Alternative Prince: An Unauthorised Biography (available from amazon)
- So-Called Alternative Medicine (SCAM) for Cancer (available from amazon)
- Alternativmedizin – was hilft, was schadet: Die 20 besten, die 20 bedenklichsten Methoden (available from amazon)
- Chiropractic: Not All That It’s Cracked Up to Be (available from amazon)
- Don’t Believe What You Think: Arguments for and against SCAM (available from amazon)
- Alternative medicine, a critical assessment of 150 modalities (available from amazon)*
- SCAM – So-Called Alternative Medicine* (available from amazon)
- MORE HARM THAN GOOD? (available from amazon)
- HOMEOPATHY, THE UNDILUTED FACTS* (available from hive)
- A SCIENTIST IN WONDERLAND, LOOKING FOR TRUTH AND FINDING TROUBLE* (available from amazon)
- TRICK OR TREATMENT* (available from amazon)
(*also available in other languages)
Currently, he is working on yet another book, preparing and giving lectures (see ‘Lectures and Talks‘ section on this blog). If you wish to contact Prof Ernst directly, please send him an email using the ‘contact‘ option of this blog.