Prince Charles has sparked an angry reaction from academics and skeptics after becoming a patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy (FoH).
The faculty, which regulates education, training, and practice of homeopathy, announced the appointment on Monday to mark its 175th anniversary.
It said it was “delighted” at the “enormous honor” to name The Prince of Wales a patron, who has long been a vocal supporter of the branch of alternative medicine.
But a number of people, including medical professionals, have since criticized the appointment, with one calling it “obscene”.
Edzard Ernst, an emeritus professor at the University of Exeter who specializes in alternative and complementary medicine, said the appointment showed the prince was a “promoter of quackery” and “an enemy of progress in healthcare”.
He said: “From the perspective of the FoH, the endorsement by someone who has a track record of rampant anti-science will merely confirm the consensus of experts who now unanimously agree that homeopathy is a placebo therapy.”
The Good Thinking Society, a charity that describes itself as “pro-science and pro-evidence”, said it seemed “not only a missed opportunity but actively counter-productive”.
“This news is sadly no surprise, given how routinely Prince Charles has used his Royal platform to advocate for an anti-science position when it comes to homeopathy,” the society’s project director Michael Marshall said.
He added: “But it is obscene to think that the UK’s next head of state believes this is an appropriate issue to use his considerable public profile to promote.
“We have been reminded only recently that plenty of homeopaths claim to be able to treat autism and discourage vaccinations – if Prince Charles wants to have a genuinely positive effect on the health of the nation he intends to one day rule, he should side against those who offer dangerously misleading advice, rather than fighting their corner.”
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