16 July 2012

Canberra Skeptics Lecture: Challenging Pseudoscience in the most scientific of all ages

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Location: Lecture Theatre, CSIRO Discovery Centre, Clunies Ross Street, Acton, ACT 2601
Speaker: Professor John Dwyer, AO, PhD, FRACP, FRCPI, Doc Uni (Hon) ACU

Free Entry

Towards the end of 2011, the Skeptics’ Tim Mendham published a table documenting the universities in Australia that seemed to be teaching various “pseudosciences” as if they were underpinned by credible scientific evidence of effectiveness! To do so was to give them totally undeserved credibility.

As about a third of our universities were suspected of such teaching the issue was obviously serious and a number of scientists, clinicians and consumer health advocates started to examine tactics that might reverse this trend. At about the same time the University of Central Queensland announced that it would commence studies for a Bachelor of Science degree in Chiropractic. The new head of this school was known to be sympathetic to an old chiropractic concept that supported the idea that associated with the spinal column of man was an “innate intelligence”, an energy force the integrity of which was essential for human health. Belief in this “anti-science” allows chiropractors to claim that by adjusting the force they can treat a myriad of diseases in both adults and children!

Catalysed by these developments, the association now known as the “Friends of Science in Medicine” was formed. Professor Dwyer will describe the growth of the organisation which now has nearly 700 National and International supporters and how you might help as well as explaining the mission and tactics of the organisation as it attempts to tackle pseudoscience on a broad front.”

Professor John Dwyer is the President and first Principal of Friends of Science in Medicine. Professor Dwyer has published 200 original articles in the scientific literature and his book explaining the functioning of the immune system for a general audience (The Body At War) has been translated into eight languages has been a best seller internationally. In recent years his clinical and research work has been dominated by realities associated with the HIV epidemic. He is active as a consultant to UN AIDS and has travelled to more than 21 countries in the Asia Pacific region advising on the establishment of prevention and treatment strategies related to the HIV epidemic. He was the founding President of the AIDS Society for Asia and the Pacific which hosts international conferences on the subject. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 1991 for his services to Medicine.

There will be a networking function following the lecture (venue tbc). All are welcome to attend.
Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org.au
This Inspiring Australia initiative is supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week.

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