[BPSDB] My requests for the scientific basis for the claims made for the University of Westminster’s qigong tuina course have so far remained unanswered. What a surprise. Not.
On 23rd November I emailed the course leader as described here. A week later, I had received no reply, not even an acknowledgement so I emailed the Dean of the School of Life Sciences, Professor Jane Lewis, with the same request. I hoped that a proper scientist as opposed to a CAM therapist would understand the nature of evidence and the need for the scrutiny of scientific claims. In this I have so far been disappointed as Professor Lewis has also failed to reply.
I am reminded of my attempts to discover the reasoning that lead to Durham County Council going ahead with their farcical fish-oil ‘trial’ (see numerous posts passim) and the stonewalling that greeted my attempts to obtain this information. There is one difference though; staff at Durham at least had the courtesy to reply to emails. Even if Professor Lewis and her staff think I am not entitled to the information (something I dispute since, as a taxpayer, I am subsidising their course) sending a polite refusal would be the courteous thing to do.
This refusal to engage suggests a certain amount of embarrasment. If, as a CAM critic, I was wrong in my suspicion that there is no evidence for the claims, I am sure Westminster would be quick to say so. If there is no evidence for the claims, one wonders why the University of Westminster School of Life Science chose to offer such a course. The discussion documents, committee reports, minutes and emails relating to it might make for very interesting reading. Time to FOIA them, I think.
Via the very helpful whatdotheyknow website I have sent the following request:
Dear University of Westminster,
I would like to see copies of the research papers or other documents that support the following claims made for the qigong tuina diploma course offered by the School of Life Sciences:
1. When combined with qi gong (the study of qi or vital energy) these techniques give a deep and effective means of diagnosing and
understanding illness on many levels.
2. Case taking, diagnostic skills and treatment techniques are enhanced by the practice of qigong, which gives the practitioner
the ability to understand both their own and the patients qi.