Alternate views on alternative medicine


From religion to law, McGill symposium explores myriad implications of medicine’s new age

Complementary and alternative medicine – or CAM – has its roots in ancient traditions, but with therapies such as acupuncture and yoga now gaining increasing favour in the the world of modern medicine, what are the implications?

A group of experts from a variety of disciplines will try to answer that question at a symposium titled Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Medical, Legal, Religious and Multicultural Implications. Co-sponsored by McGill’s Centre for Research on Religion and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the symposium will take place Friday, May 9, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the McGill Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish St.

The symposium will begin with presentations from three keynote speakers, after which panel discussions will address the topics of their presentations.

Keynote speakers:

David Colquhoun, an eminent UK scientist and noted skeptic. Dr. Colquhoun is a professor of pharmacology at University College London, a fellow of the Royal Society and blogger (Improbable Science);

Michael H. Cohen, a lawyer and professor at Harvard School of Public Health and the author of many books on legal, regulatory and ethical problems arising from complementary and alternative medicine;

Katherine K. Young, James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill, who publishes in the areas of Hinduism, comparative religion, comparative ethics and gender.

Panelists are McGill professors Maurice Boutin and Arvind Sharma, Faculty of Religious Studies; Allan Young, Department of Social Studies of Medicine; and Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill’s Office for Science and Society; as well as Master’s student Jordan Prokopy, Faculty of Religious Studies; and Patricia O’Rourke, a complaints commissioner with the McGill University Health Centre.

Registration costs $20, or $10 for students (includes lunch). Space is limited. RSVP: 514-398-5693 or francesca.maniaci [at]

Contact Information

Michael Bourguignon
Media Relations Office
michael.bourguignon [at]
Office Phone: