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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