This came a few days ago, completely out of the blue. To be honest, I did not even know what the BOOK AUTHORITY is. So, I looked them up; this is what they say about themselves:

BookAuthority is the world’s leading site for nonfiction book recommendations, helping you find the best books on various topics to develop your skills

It covers topics that range from startups, marketing and finance, through javascript, artificial intelligence and bitcoin, to fitness, history and personal development.

BookAuthority uses a proprietary technology to identify and rate the best nonfiction books, using dozens of different signals, including public mentions, recommendations, ratings, sentiment, popularity and sales history. This includes maintaining the most comprehensive collection of book recommendations from domain experts such as Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Prof. Daniel Kahneman, Sheryl Sandberg, and David Allen.

Only the very best books are featured on BookAuthority. To keep our site objective and unbiased, ratings are calculated purely based on data. We do not accept requests to feature a book, nor are we doing business with publishers or authors.

BookAuthority serves millions of book recommendations every month, was ranked #1 on ProductHunt, and has been featured on CNN, Forbes and Inc.
If you are a blogger, feel free to check out our tools for bloggers.

It does not happen often but, today, I am speechless.

50 Responses to An unexpected honour for ‘TRICK OR TREATMENT’

  • Well deserved. A superb book Ed. Nothing more to say really. Except I hope this award gets more copies of the book into the hands of those who might otherwise have been tricked and into the hands of others who can spread its message to the masses and policy makers.

  • Many congratulations, Edzard. Trick or Treatment is a classic! A well deserved honour.

  • Congratulations to you professor Ernst and to Simon Singh.
    This book has become a classic in its genre.

  • Congratulations, Edzard! Well deserved.

    Of course, my favourite part is the dedication. 🙂

  • Congratulations.

  • They could not have found anything better in that field.

      • Not the greatest reviews on Amazon

        “1.0 out of 5 starsUnscientific analysis of “alternative” and “complementary” medicine
        February 16, 2012
        Format: Paperback
        On page 326 the authors talk about shiatsu, and they don’t seem to know what they are talking about.
        They mention Tokujiro Namikoshi as the creator or developer of shiatsu, which is correct,
        and a bit later they say that shiatsu is based on yin/yang concepts.
        For their, Mr Namikoshi NEVER mentioned yin/yang in all his life or in his writings.
        That was done by one of his students 50 years after he had opened his first shiatsu school,
        when both men followed different paths.

        They also say that shiatsu might be dangerous for people who are at risk of suffering a stroke.
        This is absolutely true. ANY type of massage – or even going for a run – might trigger the stroke.
        However, the implication in the book is that Western Massage is not dangerous for those at risk,
        which is completely unscientific and totally untrue.

        They claim that shiatsu can hurt people who suffer from osteoporosis.
        I wrote to Dr Singh asking where they got that information from.
        Any scientific studies? Someone mentioned it? Or did they just make it up?
        I didn’t get a reply. I didn’t expect one either. After all, who am I?

        And finally, they also mention that there aren’t enough clinical trials of shiatsu.
        I agreed, but explained that this is because hospitals and research centres don’t let us do them.
        I challenged them to set up a clinical trial with shiatsu for people with osteoporosis.
        I’d gladly participate in such a trial.

        This is only from one page in the book. I wonder how many other things they have made up
        and not researched properly.
        Scientific book? Hardly.”

        A shiatsu practitioner who believes in clinical trials.
        25 people found this helpful

        • Amazon comment to Trick or Treatment book written by EE

          ” starsA Prof of CAM without any CAM qualifications?
          January 10, 2011
          Format: Paperback
          One of Ernst’s appeals is as an insider turned against the alternative therapies.

          But lately his professor of CAM qualifications have come under scrutiny.

          In April 2010 “the Deutscher Zentralverein homoeopathischer Aerzte” (German National Association of Homeopathic Physicians) published an interview with Ernst which was translated by Ursula Kraus-Harper.

          In this interview, it has transpired that Ernst, in Germany where homeopathy is regulated, has never passed an exam at the relevant regional branch of the German Landesaerztekammer (medical council) which is a prerequisite there.

          Asked whether he took further medical education courses in homeopathy, his reply is: “I never completed any courses.”

          It seems that the most trusted and referenced critic of homeopathy has no qualifications in homeopathy! Not only that, but surprisingly, at the time of writing this comment, a quick look at his cv on line has produced not a single qualification of any kind in CAM!

          Ernst’s ultimate goal in the cv is stated as all alternative therapies becoming main stream or being obselete. Considering most trials cost a fortune to run, and drug companies have no interest in unpatentable CAM, this translates as almost all of alternative therapies being against the law.

          This book is dressed up as quack busting and is getting everybody heated up under the collar with very reasonable arguements. What it really is about is medicine having total control of our health and leaving us no choices.

          It is double scary, because throughout history, when medicine became scarce through plague, war, famine, whatsoever, we have always turned to alternative knowledge to survive. What are we to do next time a catastrophe happens and all the chemists are shut? If we systemically destroy this ancient wisdom handed down from centuries, there is a worst scenario that we all may become extinct.

          As it turns out, according to the Scientific American (1 Nov 2007), the Erabu sea snake oil, the source of snake oil in traditional Chinese medicine, synonymous with fraudulent CAM in the West, has 20% EPA, higher than in salmon. Recent research have shown these Omega 3 acids to reduce inflammation, such as arthritis pain, improve cognitive function and reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and even depression.

          There are far too many folklore remedies waiting to be analyzed by scientists which may never see the light of the day because of the imposed constraints on getting a medicine licence. To ban them and have them lost to public consciousness as Ernst wishes is very short sighted.

          Most of our ancestors, including Ernst and Singh’s, for all those billions of years, made it to the clinically trialled medicine age by foraging for cures and other forms of CAM. Alternative medicine has proven its worth to the testimony of the success of our species. But conventional medicine produced in the lab, even with its double blind testing, is comparatively new and unproven in the grander scheme of things.

          Medicine is important in our modern day lives but it has its limits and is far from solving all our ailments. To lose our ancient knowledge base of survival, because of activities of supremacists such as Ernst and Singh, is very alarming at a deeply primeval level.”

          26 people found this helpful

          • Lies
            October 17, 2011
            Format: Paperback
            “My all problems was caused by conventionally medicine. I wish I would know earlier about power of homeopathy and chiropractics .
            There are good specialists and bad specialits in every profession , but allopathy was/is unable to help me , instead it made things worse : 70% of my problems are due to allopatic “treatment”.

            Authors make very bad service to uninformed reader : some people whose condition can be significantly improved by alternative medicine may be discouraged from seeking alternative treatment.”

            13 people found this helpful

        • @RG
          Just for (haha) ‘balance’, I looked up the reviews of some SCAM books offered on Amazon, e.g. this one – and I also found some less-than-favourable reviews:
          “Just a way to market the lactose pills that are sold. Anecdotal evidence is not evidence.”
          “This supposedly complete book fails to explain how homeopathy actually works, at least in objectively verifiable terms”

          And then there’s this one, which is frankly hilarious:
          “I wanted ear candles and I only received a book on ear candles.”
          I won’t speculate about the intelligence of the average SCAM believer, but this is rather telling …

          So, sorry RG, but as always, your comments are as useless as a homeopathic remedy(*). And even though you may succeed in fooling yourself time and again, you’re quite bad at fooling other people. Which leads me to believe that you are not a SCAM practitioner (who, by necessity, must be quite good at fooling both themselves AND others), but merely an adherent.
          Then again, maybe you are just a dumb troll — and I’m almost as dumb to respond to your utterings.

          *: Which IMO, is even more useless than the proverbial chocolate teapot, which, in the end, still leaves you with a heap of delicious molten chocolate.

          • Which IMO, is even more useless than the proverbial chocolate teapot, which, in the end, still leaves you with a heap of delicious molten chocolate.

            Apparently a chocolate teapot has been made that was capable of brewing a cup of tea, albeit one with “a hint of chocolate”:


          • @Mojo
            Wonderful! Now if only homeopaths could achieve this level of ingeniousness and innovation, and show the world that their shaken water actually does something (apart from swelling their bank account).

            But something tells me that I’d better not hold my breath…

  • congratulations Edzard! and to Simon! well deserved!

  • I found this book around five years ago, read it, loved it and have since then bought three more copies as birthday presents.
    The vivid description of the historical background of health-related treatments like bloodletting, acupuncture, homeopathy etc., combined with the illustration of the advantages that arise fom changing from medieval ways of thinking to evidence-based trials, made a lasting impression on me.

    I think that this book should be a required reading for future pharmacists (who then might refrain from making money with e.g. homeopathic “remedies”) and for medical students (who are too often deeply impressed by e.g. the “long tradition” and the “ancient wisdom” of Traditional Chinese Medicine).

  • “Best Mental Health Books of all time winner.” ~ that is a great paradigm shifter. Congrats.

    • RG

      Quacks don’t like having their nonsense being called out and will as a result lash out with the standard stream of poorly argued and evidenced excuses, seemingly engaged in a competition to see who can stack up the most logical fallacies in a single post. Their bleatings, as with yours, remain utterly inconsequential.

    • @RG

      The reviews on the UK Amazon site pan out as follows:
      5-star 57%
      4-star 15%
      3-star 13%
      2-star 5%
      1-star 10%

      So your “many more indictments” add up to 15% of the reviews (1-star+2-star) while 72% (4-star + 5-star) say glowingly positive things about the book. (3-star reviews might go either way)

      Once again, RG, you reveal how unashamedly you cherry-pick those few things that agree with your anti-medicine point of view and ignore the majority that don’t.

      • thank you for pointing this out;
        what a sad figure RG truly is!!!

        • Sounds like Prof Ernst’s book has had an orchestrated campaign mounted against on Amazon it by CAM peddlers determined to silence any rational counter argument which might unsettle their pre-conceptions. In this way it’s similar to say, every single book on similar subjects since the invention of the internet! Anyone who believes these desperate one-star rants needs their heads examined – perhaps that’s why it won the award.


        • Beyond sad. Classic example of a Randi “unsinkable rubber duck”. A glowing, one-person confirmation of everything Dunning and Kruger discovered experimentally. There’s little point in debating with him. Reasoned argument sails gently, like a flurry of high-altitude weather balloons, above his head.

          • Gentlemen and laides!
            Let us not forget Ernst’s law*, which states that:

            “If you are researching complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and you are not hated by the CAM world, you’re not doing it right.”

            This means that if there were no low-star ratings, that would mean the professor was failing.

            * Ernst’s law is attributed to Andy Lewis of the Quackometer blog

      • Fun fact about the US amazon site the RG has linked to:
        25 one star reviews, only 4 (!) are verified purchases (=16%)
        87 five star reviews, 60 are verified purchases (=69%)

        Just a wild theory… but could it be possible that the vast majority of the one-star-reviewers didn´t even bother to read the book (in contrast to the five-star-reviewers)?!

  • Very well deserved. Congratulations to you both.

  • Congratulations! It is always good to see one’s work recognized and rewarded, especially if it serves the public good.

  • Might I add three quick things?

    First, as a marketing writer, I can tell you that if you take Amazon comments too seriously, you are fooling yourself. (For the record, I have never and would never indulge in this deceitful practice.)

    Second, even if true, comments are anecdotes and anecdotes are not evidence, remember?

    @RG: If your goal is to get attention (I can’t imagine why else you would impart such silliness), you must be in heaven. I’m assuming you believe in that nonsense, too.

  • @ Ron Jette

    I don’t take the Amazon comments too seriously, but when I read them, I start with the lower ratings. I just wanted to see if EVERYBODY in the world was kissing the professors arse same as you folks here….. Well, they’re not.

    BOOK AUTHORITY holds no positional rank to Amazon in my opinion. It’s a rich boys club. I could care less about a few Billionaires gathering together to give their opinions. In most cases, I don’t even want to know THEIR opinions. In my view, their opinions are nothing more than opinions…. same as every other asshole on the street.
    I find it interesting that EE has been writing books for a living for years, yet hasn’t heard of BOOK AUTHORITY. That doesn’t speak much for them being an “Authority”.

    Don’t speak to me of anecdotes and evidence. I’ve already informed you many times. I go by my own anecdotes and experience…. that’s all I need.

    I could care less about attention. As I’ve said here before, my motivation is to alert misinformed patients about the gross misrepresentations of SBM…. I could care less about promoting CAM… and I don’t.

    • “EE has been writing books for a living for years”
      you are wrong and again show that you have not a clue about anything

    • Wow, RG,
      Calling our commendatory remarks “arse kissing”… that really hurt my feelings.
      I give you 1 star for this comment!

    • @RG

      I could care less about a few Billionaires gathering together to give their opinions.

      Aha! So you could care at least a bit, then?

      • Frank,

        FYI “I could care less” is used in America where an Englishman would say “I couldn’t care less”.

        • Julian,

          Thanks. I’m well aware of that, but the US usage makes such poor sense it always grates. I’m unreasonable enough to point out the illogic of “I could care less” whenever it comes up. It’s a hobby-horse of mine, and I’ve still not learned the wisdom of never mounting hobby-horses in public. 🙂

        • It’s true. Here in North America you sometimes hear “I could care less” when they mean “I couldn’t care less.” In my experience, this isn’t an American thing. This expression is usually used only by careless speakers, those who do not spend a lot of time thinking before they speak.

          Case in point.

          • @Ron Jette

            “It’s true. Here in North America you sometimes hear “I could care less” when they mean “I couldn’t care less.” In my experience”

            You make a good point … Ron. This is by far the best reasoning I’ve heard from you yet. I’ll stand corrected.

            Beyond that… I couldn’t care less.

    • @RG

      “I go by my own anecdotes and experience…. that’s all I need.”

      Clearly, evidence is not your thing. I’m sure informing people based on your own “anecdotes and experience” serves your “misinformed patients” well.

      If you’ll excuse me now, I have to go looking for another arse to kiss.

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