Messsage from Simon Singh, Founder of Good Thinking
2 days ago, I invited critics (particularly homeopaths) to call me in order to discuss their concerns, but nobody took me up on my offer. Instead, just more attacks on facebook, blogs and comments. The comments on one post alone call me a bully, mentally ill, a moron and a cock. At best, only one of those accusations is half true.
The offer is now over.
Over the last year, the Good Thinking Society has started some projects that have begun to have an impact on the promotion of unproven or disproven alternative therapies. Most notably, we instigated a successful legal challenge against Liverpool CCG and its funding of homeopathy, which was covered in the Daily Telegraph. The CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) now has to review its decision to fund homeopathy.
It is understandable that many homeopaths are unhappy with Good Thinking and its activities.
It is less understandable that some homeopaths have resorted to attacking the charity and me personally in blogs and on twitter.
This morning I woke up to find a petition started by Homeopathy Heals Me! (BTW, it does not!), that ends with:
“The so called Good Thinking Society people are nothing short of medical fascists and shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this! Long Live Homeopathy!”
By all means set up petitions countering the views of skeptics and by all means challenge our arguments, but the name-calling and false accusations are getting tedious. I am bored by the number of times that I have been called a “Big Pharma shill”.
The truth is that skeptics care about patients. We criticise homeopathy simply because it is not backed by evidence and can indirectly cause harm to patients. In fact, many skeptics also criticise Big Pharma when there is a lack of evidence, money wasted or the harm outweighs the benefit – in my case, I am very proud to have been involved in helping to start the All Trials campaign, perhaps the most important ongoing campaign against bad practice by Big Pharma. Although I was there at the start, I should stress that the heart, soul and brains of All Trials sit squarely with my fellow Big Pharma shills (not!) Dr Ben Goldacre and Sense About Science.
Rather than name-calling and spreading misinformation, can I suggest that anybody who has a problem with me or Good Thinking calls me? I have set aside an hour at 5pm GMT on 1 May to talk to our critics on Skype.
- There will be six 10 minute slots.
- Email me if you want a slot – I will try to accommodate any preferences for slots.
- The first 2 people to email me get a slot each.
- 2 slots are for anybody who bad-mouthed me on twitter/blogs (please send URL).
- 2 slots are for any representatives of homeopathy groups or societies.
- The 4 reserved slots will be released if they are not filled today (29 April).
- I am happy to talk about anything.
- You are welcome to blog about anything we discuss in the call.
When the calls are confirmed, I will add the names of the callers and any affiliations to this blog.