They’ve only been around for three months, but the Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM), a lobby group formed to combat alternative or complementary medicine with good old empirical data, is pushing its mandate hard. In its sights are Australia’s universities — specifically the ones running courses that focus on herbal remedies, aromatherapy, homoeopathy and chiropractic methodologies.
FSM is far from a token entity — the 450-member strong group counts Australian immunologist Sir Gustav Nossal and Gardasil vaccine inventor Professor Ian Frazer among its ranks. According to AsianScientist, FSM penned letters to the vice-chancellors of the offending universities asking them stop giving alternative medicine courses “undeserved credibility”. A story over at The Atlantic further states the group wants universities to “reverse the trend” of providing courses that “are not underpinned by convincing scientific evidence”. The article goes on to say that 19 out of 39 universities across the country offer courses the group deems as “quackery”.
What do the universities have to say? According to University Australia, it’s up to each university to decide what courses they provide. Do you think there should be a serious review of uni courses teaching alternative medicine, or should educational institutions have free reign over what they offer?