I am stunned by the two interviews I just watched on the BBC. One with the polite Dr Sara Eames from the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital and the very confused journalist, Celia Walden. And the other with Professor Lewith and the bulldozer Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP.
Here we have homeopathy taking another major beating in the media following Boots’ gift of a sound bite from the parliamentary Evidence Check – which I feel compelled to mention again, IS NOT YET OVER.
A mild mannered and polite Dr. Sara Eames waited for her questions and answered them, albeit repetitively. But WHY oh WHY did she not set the seriously confused Celia Walden straight? Celia confessed from the get go that she doesn’t know anything about homeopathy, that it “conjours up images of patchouli and mood music and all that kind of thing”, and that in her busy life she wanted something that “worked quickly and efficiently” and that she had a “vague idea , and I could be completely wrong” that homeopathy takes longer and she’d rather “reach for the Neurofen Extra.” Why was this confused young woman not put straight? Yes she’s completely wrong about everything homeopathic! Homeopathy is used all over the world as primary care medicine, in acute situations it’s often faster and safer than anti-biotics or Neurofen, even Neurofen Extra….. Dr Eames wake up!!!! It’s not enough to state over and over that there is evidence – Boots has said there’s none they know of – so you have to give some examples the public can relate to – and explode some myths about homeopathy right there and then. Ms Walden gave you a golden opportunity on a plate.
Prof Lewith such a gentleman, and sadly from another era – won’t get a look in with the new breed of medical professional – especially one that has all the hallmarks of a Sense About Science media training. Pushy, articulate – never mind the content, she SOUNDS convincing and confident about what she’s saying and in a short interview that’s all that counts, gently sarcastic, suggestions of ridicule, and most importantly fast talking. LOTS of information poured into a small space. This is no time for rambling as if we’re having a friendly chat in the pub – or a respectful exchange between professionals. Those days are gone and the long knives are out.
So we need some fast talking, pushy media savvy and articulate homeopathic representatives who can take an opportunity when it presents itself.
Today’s question Has anyone else noticed the disproportionate number of attractive young women put in front of cameras to give the anti-homeopathic line? The modern face of scientific thought. And all the pro-homeopathic representatives so far are middle-aged women or elderly men. No ageism or sexism implied, I’m just sayin…..
Prof Lewith: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8384040.stm