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The Sciences

Deluding Australia

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitMarch 16, 2009 3:00 PM

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When I visited Australia in 2003, I had an incredible time. Australians are my kinda folks: loud, blunt, funny, and they have those silly accents. One aspect that shocked me, though, was how popular homeopathy is there. We went into a pharmacy so I could get decongestants (this entire planet irritates my sinuses), and the homeopathic garbage was everywhere. Richard Saunders, my host (and arguably Oz's most famous skeptic), told me that the homeopaths spend a lot of money to get their stuff into pharmacies there, including paying for attractive displays to make their diluted water more eye-catching. There was an entire wall devoted to homeopathic placebos in one place we went. Richard and the Australian Skeptics have taken it on themselves to fight this sort of flim-flam. They created a one-page PDF ad taking the pharmacies to task for it. Richard created a JPG version which I uploaded to my Flickr page as well:

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Feel free to use this to promote on your own site, blog, whatever. Print the PDF version and send it to local papers, or to local pharmacies. It's written for Australia, but it applies universally. Truth always does.

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