This is the story of the author’s life as a doctor and a scientist. Despite a youthful ambition to become a jazz musician, he studied medicine and eventually became a medical research scientist, taking up appointments in Germany, Austria and finally in England. His reverence for the pursuit of truth through the application of scientific methods, coupled with a growing interest in the history of medicine during the Nazi era, did not always endear him to others. At the time he was appointed to the world’s first chair in alternative medicine, this was an area of health care that had rarely been studied systematically, and was almost entirely dominated by outspokenly evangelic promoters and enthusiasts - among them, famously, HRH Prince Charles - many of whom exhibited an overtly hostile, anti-scientific attitude towards the objective study of their favoured therapies. Clashes were inevitable, but the sheer ferocity with which advocates of alternative medicine would operate in order to protect their field from scrutiny came as a profound surprise. This memoir provides a unique insight into the cutthroat politics of academic life and offers a sobering reflection on the damage already done by pseudoscience in health care.
Keywords: Biography, memoir, science, medicine, complementary medicine, CAM, alternative medicine, pseudoscience, pseudo-science, Prince of Wales, doctor, Nazi medicine, healthcare, health care, alternative therapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, healing