Edzard Ernst, former professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, has been removed from the editorial board of the journal Homeopathy.
On his blog on 22 March, Ernst published excerpts from a letter he received from the journal’s editor-in-chief, Peter Fisher. In these, Fisher tells Ernst that he is being removed because of comments he made in an earlier blog post, published by Ernst on Holocaust Memorial Day in January.
Fisher, director of research at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, said in the letter that Ernst’s blog had “smeared homeopathy and other forms of complementary medicine with a ‘guilt by association’ argument, associating them with the Nazis”.
Ernst had used the HMD blog post to discuss support of alternative medicine by the Nazis. But when publishing the excerpts from Fisher’s letter, he said that the post had not employed a “guilt by association” argument, and only recounted “historical facts which are not well-known and therefore worth mentioning”.
He suggests that his blog post, which mostly comprised quotes from his previous journal publications, may have been misunderstood.
Referring to his dismissal, Ernst says he thinks “most observers might find this odd and unjustified. Such a thing would not happen, I think, in a field with a mature research-culture. That it did happen in homeopathy might be interpreted as a reflection of the fact that homeopathy lacks such a culture”.
by Penny Sarchet
To read the original story: Edzard Ernst Blog