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No. 65: Sep-Oct 1989

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How fares benveniste?

J. Benveniste is in the news again!

The July 20 issue of Nature has a news item entitled emphatically "INSERM Closes the File." (INSERM is the French institute of health and medical research.) Two INSERM committees recommended that Benveniste cease his work on high dilutions; work that seems to support the principles of homeopathy. The directory-general of INSERM, P. Lazar, however, did not endorse these recommendations. Benveniste was asked to look for errors in his experiments that might account for his "unusual results." Without question Benveniste is under the gun and future funding in jeopady.

(Coles, Peter; "INSERM Closes the File," Nature, 340:178, 1989.)

The headline in Science's news item was less emphatic: "Benveniste Criticism Is Diluted." Here, Lazar is reported as saying that he did not want to stifle research on new ideas and that Benveniste had been treated badly by Nature.

Benveniste has not remained silent. In Le Monde, he stated that the results he had published in Nature have now been confirmed by two French teams, two American teams, and one in the USSR.

(Dickson, David; "Benveniste Criticism Is Diluted," Science, 245:248, 1989.)

From Science Frontiers #65, SEP-OCT 1989. 1989-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987