Andy Lewis

Thursday, July 29 2010 at 7:30PM

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Andy Lewis

What's the talk about?

The late eighteenth century was a very creative time for inventing new forms of quackery and some people became wealthy on the back of their creations. Of these creations, it is perhaps only homeopathy that has survived virtually unchanged into the 21st century. The majority of alternative medicines available today have been invented and developed within living memory, despite claims of their origins in antiquity.

What makes an alternative medicine successful? Why should homeopathy survive when the very popular Tractors of Perkins have long since been forgotten? Could you have predicted this in 1800? Today, we have a new industry of quack devices protecting us from mobile phones. Should you invest in such enterprises?

In this talk, Andy will look at the factors that allow patent medicines to thrive, and why consumers and practitioners latch onto them. Importantly, we shall explore the implications of these views for regulation and protecting the public from delusional or fraudulent claims.

Andy Lewis developed the Quackometer website that explores the pseudoscientific claims of alternative medicine websites and their impact on society. Despite his detractors' claims, he does not own a yacht in the South of France paid for by Big Pharma. He has yet to secure a single penny from such sources for his work.