Alternative Medicine Under the Microscope
Drs. Harriet Hall, Paul Offit, and Robert Park will provide a critical analysis of Alternative Medicine
November 7, 2011
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Centre Mont Royal, 1000 Sherbrooke Street West
November 8, 2011
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Stephen Leacock Building, Room 132 (Fieldhouse Auditorium)
“Alternative medicine” is a perplexing term. What does it mean? What is it an alternative to? Medicine either works, or it doesn’t. If it works, it isn’t “alternative.” If it doesn’t work, it isn’t medicine. So what then is “alternative medicine?” The best definition seems to be “those practices which are not taught in conventional medical schools.” Why not? Because medical schools are sticklers for a little detail called “evidence.” After all, patients have a right to expect that a course of action recommended by a physician has a reasonable chance of working. In science, evidence means statistically significant results from properly controlled experiments, as evaluated by experts in the field. Lack of evidence of course does not mean that a particular treatment cannot work. Only that it has not been demonstrated to work. And that is when it can be termed “alternative.” If sufficient proof is mustered, “alternative” transforms into “conventional.”
The Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium Series is proud to present four distinguished speakers, all with expertise in alternative medicine. Following the speakers’ presentations, the public will be encouraged to ask questions and engage in a discussion with all the participants.
McGill University is proud to host the seventh annual Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium, made possible through the generous support of Dr. Lorne Trottier and honouring his wish "to hold a public forum to inform, inspire debate and raise public awareness on contemporary issues confronting society today".
General admission - limited seating
For additional information contact:
The Symposium Office at
via trottiersymposium.science [at] mcgill.ca (email)
Cette conférence sera prononcée en anglais.