Alternative medicine on trial

Alternative medicine will be put on trial when leading UK science commentator and best-selling author Dr Simon Singh speaks at Sydney Ideas this Wednesday.

In his University of Sydney lecture titled, "Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial", Dr Singh will explore the claims made by practitioners of alternative medicines such as homeopathy, acupuncture and herbal remedies and will attempt to separate fact from myth.

A former director and producer of the BBC science department, Singh co-authored the book Trick or Treatment?Alternative Medicine on Trial (Random House) with Edzard Ernst, Britain's first Professor of Complementary Medicine, after Singh says he "came across claims that were made by alternative medicines that to me sounded absolutely bizarre."

Using scientific evidence accumulated for the book, Singh, who is currently being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association, will reveal what alternative therapies are safe, those that are effective and ones that are useless or downright dangerous.

He will also consider how the multi-billion dollar alternative medicine industries have been allowed to flourish and the ways some therapies have been shown to be effectively incorporated within conventional medicine.

Dr Simon Singh completed a BSc in physics and a PhD in particle physics at Cambridge University before joining the BBC science department. He worked on Tomorrow's World and Horizon and won a BAFTA for directing a documentary on the subject of Fermat's Last Theorem. He is the author of a series of best-selling popular science books including Fermat's Last Theorem, The Code Book and Big Bang. In 2003, he received an MBE for services to science education and communication.

Simon Singh will be introduced to the Sydney Ideas stage by Professor David Day, Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. Singh is in Australia as a guest of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and The Royal Institution of Australia. His visit to Sydney is supported by the Skeptic Zone and Australian Skeptics.

Event details:

What: Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial - Dr Simon Singh at Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney's international public lecture series

When: 6.30pm on Wednesday, 15 July, 2009

Where: Seymour Theatre Centre, Corner of City Road and Cleveland Street, University of Sydney

Cost: $20/$15 concession. Free tickets are available from the Seymour Theater box office to University of Sydney students and staff. Please bring ID.

Bookings: Phone (02) 9351 7940 or online www.usyd.edu.au/sydney_ideas

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