Yesterday, Harriet’s many friends received the sad news of her unexpected death on 11 January. Harriet was not just a good and loyal friend, she was a tirelessly working, determined, and effective skeptic. Her work focussed on so-called alternative medicine (SCAM), and thus the two of us were on the same wavelength.
Harriet’s husband, Kirk, posted this short note about her death on social media:
I know Harriet’s work was followed and admired by many of you. It is with great sadness that I must tell you my beloved wife passed away quietly and unexpectedly in her sleep last night. At this moment, she would probably simply ask you to have a kind thought for her, be kind to each other and continue to support her belief in the truth.
I feel that, without intending to, Kirk described Harriet’s character very well. She was a quiet and kind person. Yet she inspired many, and her influence was considerable. Harriet Hall had been the founding member of skeptic organizations, author of books and countless articles, recipient of awards, author of many brilliant lectures, and much more.
Harriet and I have met in person only 2 or 3 times. But we did keep in contact and exchanged many emails. Most generously, she published reviews of most of my books and was often immeasurably supportive of my work.
Harriet Hall will be remembered by skeptics around the world for her quiet enthusiasm, her kindness, and her honesty. I will always remember her for coining an absolutely perfect term for the pseudo-research that plagues the field of SCAM:
TOOTH FAIRY SCIENCE
I lost a friend; the world lost a great skeptic.
We will all miss you, Harriet!
Very sad news, condolences to her family & friends.
Indeed. She leaves a fine legacy.
A very sad loss.
I was an avid follower of her many articles – all of which were solidly based in science and ‘truth’ – as befitted a flight surgeon.
An outstanding doctor (‘one who teaches’) and a lady of the highest integrity.
An inspiration to us all.
I join all in offering sincerest condolences to Kirk and family.
May the fairies forever maintain your truth Harriet!
How very sad to hear! My condolences to her family, her friends and her colleagues at SBM – her no-nonsense approach to both real science as well as Tooth Fairy Science will be sorely missed.
Warm heartfelt condolences to her husband and family.
She made this world a better place.
Dave & Sandy
It’s quite upsetting. She seemed the picture of health. However, it is the way I wish to leave. I have used the concept of Tooth Fairy Science effectively to turn around a few SCAM devotees when all else failed. I thank her for that and her many contributions to skepticism. Sincere condolences to her husband and daughters.
Condolences to family and friends. I enjoyed Dr Hall’s video presentations, which so calmly stuck a blow for science, and must have helped many.