20 years ago: The British Homoeopathic Journal, October 1986
21 December 2017 (online)
A research council for homoeopathy?
In his editorial, Peter Fisher referred to the half century of a new era in homeopathy with the publication, in 1936, of W E Boyd's Monograph 1: Research on the low potencies of homoeopathy (an account of some physical properties indicating activity). This work was epoch-making, as it marked the beginning of research to find a reproducible model to demonstrate the action of substances in potency and to investigate the nature of potency energy. It had a mixed reception: in his review of the monograph in the journal, Dr Templeton thought it would have aroused the contempt of Dr J H Clarke, for ‘pandering to the orthodox mind’.
Boyd had set the ball rolling, and Fisher gave a brief historical review of the major endeavours which had resulted. He said that ‘we still have not reached the goal of establishing an undisputed, reproducible in-vitro model, but there are now good reasons for believing that this objective may not be far off’. For various reasons, most of these experiments had been unsatisfactory; none had been established, beyond dispute, as repeatable. However, a new generation of more sophisticated models were emerging. These used tissue culture or isolated cell methods, which were more economical and permitted investigation in greater depth than did animal experiments. An essential feature of the new models was the concept of pre-sensitization of the test system; either spontaneous, as in the important French work on degranulation of basophils from allergic subjects, or ‘priming’ of the system by pre-treatment.
Now, the author saw an urgent need for a large-scale, energetic, co-ordinated and adequately funded research effort; with clearly defined objectives and a strategy for achieving them. At the same time, the fundamental concepts of similarity and individual sensitivity must not be devalued. For these reasons, he considered the establishment and funding of a Research Council to be an urgent priority.[ 1 ]
- 1 Fisher P. A research council for homoeopathy. Br Hom J 1986; 75: 185-186.
- 2 Warren A.G., Davey R.W., Swayne J., Reilly D.T. Contemporary issues in homoeopathy. Br Hom J 1986; 75: 187-210.
- 3 Wallace K.R. The homoeopathic treatment of asthma and allergies. Br Hom J 1986; 75: 218-226.
- 4 Thoms P.W. Obituary. Br Hom J 1986; 75: 230.