university of aberdeen and anthroposophical medicine

In Times Higher Education today, there’s an article about the plans for an alternative medicine chair at Aberdeen University. If coming into existence, this chair would be financed by an anthroposophical clinic, the Raphael Clinic, and German foundation, Software AG Stiftung, whose ties to the anthroposophical movement are strong and which is known for funding anthroposophical projects, such as the Hereford Academy or the Alanus university. Eventually, the chair might grow into an entire centre for alternative/anthroposophical medicine, anthroposophists hope. The Times Higher Education article builds on the investigations by James Gray into this matter.

In a submission to the governance and nominations committee obtained by Mr Gray, Mike Greaves, head of Aberdeen’s College of Life Sciences and Medicine, suggests that the chair might eventually grow into a research centre. The website of the umbrella group the Anthroposophic Health, Education & Social Care Movement says such a centre has been agreed “in principal” (sic) with Aberdeen and would be “key to furthering the anthroposophic healthcare approach worldwide”.

The chair would be the first of its kind outside central Europe. The university also offers an undergraduate degree in “social pedagogy”, which also has its roots in anthroposophy and is taught in collaboration with a local Steiner school.

James Gray has a post about the social pedagogy course, too. (I’ve written about it twice.) In the article, Edzard Ernst points out that there is no evidence for the efficacy of anthroposophical medicine, it’s ‘pure quackery’.

There seems to be some people at the University of Aberdeen who have misgivings about this new chair, suspecting that bad publicity and actions by the anthroposophical movement might harm the university’s credibility. Read more.

11 thoughts on “university of aberdeen and anthroposophical medicine

  1. it looks like this adventure into Higher Worlds may be dropped – very busy time on twitter.

  2. Hello sea nymph! Yes, I just saw. You write a post, and once finished and posted, you notice everything has evolved too quickly and your post is stuck in the past… it happens occasionally…

    Here’s the update:

  3. Update:

    They seem to have ditched it.

    ‘Following discussion and consideration of the issues involved, the University’s Governance and Nominations Committee agreed that given the need for sustainability of funding for the longer-term, the University could not satisfy its requirement for the highest standards of scientific rigour with the funding model proposed, in particular the aspirations of potential donors to establish a Centre of Complementary Medicine.’

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