Random thoughts on my first SCAM-research conference in France
I have just given two lectures on so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) in France. Why should that be anything to write home about? Perhaps it isn't; but during the last 25 years I have been lecturing all over the world and, even though I live partly in France and speak the language, I never attended a single SCAM-conference there. I have tried for a long time to establish contact with French SCAM-researchers, but somehow this never happened. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that, although the practice of SCAM is hugely popular in this country, there was no or very little SCAM-research in France. This conclusion seems to be confirmed by simple Medline searches. For instance, Medline lists just 171 papers for 'homeopathy/France' (homeopathy is much-used in France), while the figures for Germany and the UK are 490 and 448. These are, of course, only very rough indicators, and therefore I was delighted to be invited to participate for the first time in a French SCAM-conference. It was